Bahrain: Major conference on Islamic capital and money markets
The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) and the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) are jointly organising a major conference on Islamic capital and money markets.
The 1st Islamic Financial Markets Conference will be held on 16th & 17th May 2005, under the theme ‘Opportunities in the Islamic Capital & Money Markets’. The conference will be followed, on 18th May 2005, by a specialized workshop on the ‘Technical and Shari’a Challenges of Sukuk Issuance’.
The event is being organised with the support of the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) and the Islamic Research & Training Institute (IRTI) of the Islamic Development Bank.
“The conference is a landmark endeavour to discuss the challenges facing the development of a viable Islamic money market and tradable financial instruments, particularly the Sukuk, which has emerged as a key Shari’a compliant variant of fixed income capital and treasury instruments,” said Mr. Waleed Abdulla Rashdan, Vice Chairman of the IIFM, and Executive Director, Banking Operations at the BMA.
Since the launch of the first ever Sukuk deal, by the BMA just over three years ago, the Sukuk has demonstrated its viability as an alternative means to mobilize long term savings and investment from a large investor base.
However, while sovereigns are active in the area of sukuk, corporate issuance needs to be stimulated, Mr. Rashdan pointed out. Of the US$4.2 billion worth of global sukuk issues made in the last two years, the vast majority have been sovereign issues.
Dr Munwar Iqbal, Head, Islamic Banking and Finance Division, at IRTI, said the event is unique in that it aims to come out with common guidelines for Sukuk issuance and trading.
Dr Ezzedine Khoja, Secretary General of CIBAFI, said the conference will discuss local experiences of sukuk issuance and recommend improvements in the structures and documentation utilized, in order to bring them on par with international best practices.
“Harmonisation and continuous reengineering of sukuk structures and issuance procedures will enhance global acceptability of the sukuk instrument,” he added.
The conference will also address the ways and means of establishing an effective Islamic money market, focusing on the experiences of such countries as Malaysia, Sudan, Indonesia, Bahrain and Bangladesh.
The conference will bring together all key market players, including sukuk issuers, arrangers, underwriters, market makers, investors, funds/portfolio mangers, regulators, reserve managers, Shari’a scholars, consultants and legal advisors.
The specialized workshop will focus on the guidelines and principles of sukuk issuance, with special emphasis on Sukuk Ijara. The workshop will bring together prominent Shari’a scholars and specialists in Islamic economics, who will propose such guidelines as well as discuss the difficulties and challenges and how these can be resolved in accordance with the Shari’a. They will also discuss recent initiatives and innovations in issuing Shari’a-compliant instruments. The conference and workshop will be held at the Gulf Hotel.
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