BMA wins prestigious award for its contribution to Islamic funds industry
The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) has won a prestigious award in recognition for its pioneering and innovative contribution to the global Islamic funds industry.
The award for Best Contribution to Growth and Development of Islamic Funds has been conferred on the BMA by Failaka International, a Kuwaiti-US firm, which is a recognized leader in Islamic funds monitoring and information.
The Failaka Islamic Fund Awards are the first-ever for the Islamic fund industry. The awards ceremony was held today in Bahrain, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel & Spa. A total 10 awards were presented for a range of Shari’a compliant funds covering several investment markets, such as real estate, commodities and Ijara (leasing), besides awards for Best Islamic Fund Family, Best Islamic Fund Manager and Most Innovative Islamic Fund in 2005.
The award for the BMA was accepted by H.E. Anwar Khalifa Al Sadah, Deputy Governor of the BMA, who was also the keynote speaker at the event.
“The BMA is delighted to receive this award, which is a demonstration of international recognition for the pioneering work being undertaken by the Agency in the area of Islamic finance, in general, and Islamic funds, in particular,” said Mr. Al Sadah.
He noted that the Islamic funds industry currently represents one of the fastest growing sectors within the Islamic financial services industry, with the global market for Islamic investment funds currently estimated at over 120 funds with assets exceeding US$6 billion.
The industry is growing at around 15% per annum, with the demand for such funds set to outstrip supply for the foreseeable future.
Mr. Abdul Rahman Al Baker, Executive Director, Financial Institutions Supervision, at the BMA said Bahrain has the highest concentration of Islamic funds, with 71 incorporated or registered in the Kingdom. The funds manage assets of about US$1 billion.
Bahrain’s Islamic funds industry has been seeing growth rates in excess of 20% in recent years and is the fastest growing segment of the total mutual funds industry, which, at December-end 2005, stood at 1,882 funds managing assets worth US$7.7 billion.
“The BMA strongly supports the mutual funds industry as an integral part of the financial sector,” said Mr. Al Sadah.
New BMA initiatives, to further develop and advance the mutual funds industry, include a new licensing framework for investment business, which will cater specifically for such activities as asset management, funds management and custodial services.
In terms of legal developments, a proposed Trust Law will help in further developing Bahrain’s mutual funds industry.