The growth of Islamic banking, which year-on-year outstrips conventional banking, is set to continue at a blistering pace into 2008 as major new Islamic financial institutions are launched, established players expand their geographic footprint, and the conventional banks further sharpen their Islamic product offerings. These new growth areas will come under the spot light at the 14th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) which will be held at the Gulf International Convention Centre, Kingdom of Bahrain from 8 to 10 December 2007.
Developments in Islamic finance are resulting in major advances in product variety as an increasingly competitive market is spurring innovation and the sophistication of Islamic finance offerings available today. In addition, the industry is now assuming a real globalisation path driven by bold strategies from the market leaders to better position the industry to capture the potential in the traditional Islamic markets of the Middle East and SE Asia as well as to explore the increasing interest and opportunities in non-Islamic geographies.
This year WIBC will launch the Country Focus Session, featuring a panel of international experts representing new growth markets for Islamic financial services in the UK, Europe, South Africa, Asia and North America. In addition, the UK Pavilion will be hosted by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), which will create a dynamic environment with opportunities to network with a high-powered delegation of leaders who are shaping the UK’s future as a major centre of Islamic finance. With 1,000 delegates from over 35 countries attending each year, WIBC has become the most significant platform for senior decision-makers to explore new and emerging market opportunities for Islamic finance.
Mirroring the growth in the Islamic banking industry, WIBC 2007 features a record number of partners and supporters, including National Commercial Bank, Unicorn Investment Bank, Al Salam Bank, Samba Financial Group, and Investment Dar as the Platinum Strategic Partners.
Abdulkareem Abu AlNasr, Chief Executive Officer of National Commercial Bank (NCB), said: “the World Islamic Banking Conference provides a valuable opportunity for specialists in the Islamic banking industry to exchange ideas and perspectives regarding the latest banking initiatives concerning corporations and individuals.”
The National Commercial Bank (NCB), headquartered in Jeddah, has established its current financial strength and leadership in the Saudi and Middle East markets. NCB is committed to delivering better service to its customers by leveraging the advancements provided by technology.
Supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain, WIBC 2007 also features a host of new and value-added highlights that set it apart from all other conferences. These include the Leaders & Winning Strategies Session where international and regional business leaders address cross-industry perspectives; the original research insights of the WIBC Competitiveness Report conducted in collaboration with McKinsey & Company; the Shari’ah Open Forum; and the Sector Summits focusing on the Retail, and the Corporate & Investment Banking segments.
David Pace, Chief Financial Officer, Unicorn Investment Bank, said: “Unicorn is pleased to partner with the WIBC for the third consecutive year. We find WIBC to be among the most important annual events on the Islamic banking calendar. It provides an ideal opportunity for the world’s Islamic bankers to gather and to discuss key issues and chart the future direction of the industry.”
Unicorn Investment Bank, headquartered in Bahrain, is licensed as a Shari’ah-compliant investment bank, regulated and supervised by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).
The 14th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference which is being held under the theme of 'Combatting Competition & Capturing New International Growth Markets,' has firmly established itself as the largest and most significant gathering of Islamic banking & finance industry leaders in the world.
More information on the World Islamic Banking Conference is available on the conference website www.megaevents.net/wibc
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