Islamic finance needs global standards -- Bankers
Islamic finance experts have flagged the urgent need for harmonious international industry standards and cross-border co-ordination and collaboration.
According to CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad chief executive Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, in this phase of growing international transactions, Islamic finance needed to be dynamic and innovative.
Mr Ghani was speaking during the Power Debate session yesterday at the fourth Annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit (WIBC Asia 2013) at the Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel, Singapore.
"The emphasis has to be on the development of diversified and comprehensive Sharia-compliant financial solutions to meet the differentiated needs of various businesses, including the requirements of international businesses, and thus facilitate cross-border investments," he said.
"This requires close co-ordination and collaboration between the two powerhouse regions for Islamic finance in Asia - the Middle East and Southeast Asia," he added.
A similar view was expressed by Maybank Islamic Berhad chief executive Muzaffar Hisham.
"Islamic finance has shown remarkable resilience during the recent global financial crisis while achieving tremendous international growth over the last decade," he said.
"Recent reports indicate Islamic finance grew by 20 per cent annually in the last five years to reach $1.3 trillion in total assets in 2011.
"As Islamic banking continues its steady progress into the mainstream financial system and becomes more integrated with the global financial system, one of the most challenging hurdles the industry must overcome is to continue on its successful growth path and overcome fragmented regulation," Mr Hisham said.
"This calls for an ongoing dialogue between key regulators, industry practitioners and market participants to overcome the obstacles and achieve greater international connectivity," he added.
The three-day event began on Monday with a pre-conference summit on Islamic liquidity management, Islamic hedging and capital market instruments hosted by the Bahrain-based international standard-setting body - the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM).
The pre-conference summit featured an inaugural keynote session led by IIFM chairman and Central Bank of Bahrain executive director for banking supervision Khalid Hamad and Monetary Authority of Singapore Development Group assistant managing director Ng Nam Sin.
The main conference was officially inaugurated by a special address by Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry and Monetary Authority of Singapore deputy chairman Lim Hng Kiang, who discussed the role of Islamic finance in facilitating inter-regional trade and investment flows between Asia and the Middle East.
Convened under the official support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, WIBC Asia 2013 was attended by 482 industry leaders representing over 175 international and regional organisations.
More than 55 international speakers and industry thought leaders discussed critical issues that the Islamic finance industry in Asia is facing and analysed key strategies on boosting international connectivity in Islamic finance.
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