Beirut will host an Islamic banking conference in March with the participation of more than twenty-five Arab and foreign representatives, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
Participants at the conference will include representatives from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said the daily, adding that the discussions will focus on several issues, mainly how transparency, corporate governance and risk management influence Islamic banking.
According to the paper, Lebanon's hosting of the conference is part of the country's plans to participate more in this fast-growing financial sector.
"Lebanon is one of the best countries qualified to deal in Islamic financial instruments due to the regulations that exist in the country," Bahrain's deputy finance and economy minister, Ibrahim bin Khalifeh al-Khalifeh, said at a press conference on Tuesday to announce the two-day event.
"Lebanon enjoys the confidence of a number of international financial institutions, which are currently getting more interested in Islamic banking ventures," he said.
The idea to hold the conference, which will run from March 20-21, came from the 25th annual meeting of the Islamic Development Bank held in Beirut last year, said the agency. Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri also promised to ease Islamic banking operations in Lebanon.
The 53-member Islamic Development Bank is organizing the conference together with the Central Bank and other financial institutions.
Only a handful of banks offer Islamic financial services in Lebanon. These services follow Islamic law which forbids paying interest and investing in enterprises involving with pork, alcohol, or gambling -- Albawaba.com
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