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World Islamic Funds Conference opens

MANAMA: The two-day Fourth Annual World Islamic Funds and Capital Markets Conference begins today at Gulf International Convention Centre.

The event will be opened by Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Governor Rasheed Al Maraj and Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) secretary general Dr Mohamad Nedal Alchaar.

This flagship event, which annually attracts more than 400 international delegates from leading conventional and Islamic banks, regional and international fund managers, investors, and other financial experts, including Sharia experts has become the most important gathering of decision-makers in the dynamically-growing Islamic investments industry.

The conference will feature an outstanding speaker faculty representing the market leaders in the Islamic investments, banking and finance industry, with a focus on innovation in Islamic products.

Financial services group Ernst & Young (Bahrain) head of Islamic finance Sameer Abdi will launch the Second Annual Islamic Funds and Investments Report, a ground-breaking mixture of both primary research and desk-based analysis that will offer unique insights into the dynamically-growing Islamic investment markets.

CBB executive director of financial institutions Abdul Rahman Al Baker, CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad executive director and chief executive officer Badlisyah Abdul Ghani will look at the key market developments as well as assess the potential for further growth.

Speakers will focus on Islamic mortgages, property finance and securitisation and there will be a Sharia and business open forum, an interactive discussion aimed at overcoming the challenges for balancing Sharia compliance and industry growth imperatives.

A panel of speakers from Islamic International Rating Agency led by chief executive officer Jamal Abbas Zaidi will conduct the ratings workshop that will look at the role of ratings in Islamic financial markets.

Major new industry announcements will be by Arbah Capital, which according to the co-chief executive officer Dhafer Alqahtani, “Chose this important conference in particular as a platform for launching one of its unique private equity funds and first of its kind because of the size and magnitude of participants from the Islamic investment industry particularly the funds. He described the event as the Davos of Islamic funds.”

The winners of the two prestigious Islamic Investments awards, The Annual Funds Excellence Awards 2008 and The Innovation Award will also be announced at the gala dinner of the conference.

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