Bahrain News Agency

CIBAFI-IRTI meeting on March 22-23

The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) and the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) are jointly organising the yearly meeting of the Directors of Operations and Investments of Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs). The theme this year will be "Bringing Islamic Investment of IFIs to the Next Frontier" and is held between March 22-23 in Manama. Experts in Islamic Investments will gather to discuss the disruptive agendas of the Islamic investments and look into topics of Strategies in the Infrastructure and Project Finance; Private Banking Capabilities of IFIs; Direct Equity Investment of IFIs; Sustainability Criteria in Islamic Investment Framework among other significant topics.

Growth in Islamic finance industry necessitates regulation advancement

Organised jointly by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the World Bank Group, the 11th AAOIFI-World Bank Conference has started on Monday. CBB Governor Rasheed Al Maraj said in his keynote address that the CBB would introduce a set of new regulations for the Islamic Financial Industry. He added that the industry also needs to invest in the training of the human capital in addition to working on succession planning. Participants discussed the challenges, opportunities and development of Islamic finance in the changing economic climate. The main take away of the day was about the future prospects, innovation, differentiation between the capitalism and the Islamic finance as a whole.

Finance Minister meets IDB President

#Bahrain's Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa has met with the new President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, Dr. Bandar Hajjar. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the minister's participation in the annual meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank Group held in Washington. Ways to broaden the close cooperation between the two sides were discussed. The minister praised the IDB's distinguished standing, which plays a vital role in promoting the development movements in Arab and Islamic countries.

CIBAFI technical #workshops schedule announced

The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) has announced the schedule of its Technical Workshops on Product Development for Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs). The workshops will start on August 30 and will be organized in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. The three-day Technical Workshops aim to provide participants with hands on technical knowledge and skills pertaining to product development, with a focus on Islamic financial services. CIBAFI, as the voice of the industry, aims to provide platforms such as these to develop human capital and bring industry professionals together.

KHCB reports 109.8% increase in net profits over 2014

Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB), a prominent Islamic retail bank, announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2015 recording net profit of BD 8 million compared to BD 3.8 million reported in 2014. The bank has recorded a net profit of BD 1.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to a net profit of BD 1 million reported in the fourth quarter of last year. Total assets also grew to BD 654 million, increased by 9.6% compared to 2014. Return on average assets reached 1.3%. With these results, the bank sustained its profitability and strengthened its financial position with a liquid assets ratio in the excess of 22.5% and capital adequacy ratio of 18.8%.

Islamic finance industry reached $2 trillion in 2014

Islamic services and products have seen significant growth over the recent years, said Dr. Abdulrahman Al Hamidy, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Arab Monetary Fund (AMF). Al Hamidy said in his welcome address at the four-day Islamic Insuranceprogramme that since 2000, the Islamic finance industry has grown by up to 20 percent to US$2 trillion by the end of 2014. He noted that the delivery of Islamic insurance services offered a testament to the robust evolvement and expansion of the Sharia-compliant banking services and solutions. Twenty-four participants from 12 countries are attending the event, which is being jointly organised by the Abu Dhabi-based AMF and the World Bank.

Waqf Fund hosts tenth Sharia Scholar Session

The Waqf Fund, a Bahrain-based special fund to support Islamic finance training, education and research, hosted its tenth Sharia Scholar session with Dr. Abdulbari Mash'al. Dr. Mashal made a presentation on "What Sharia Reviewers can do to enhance Sharia governance and compliance at Islamic banks". This was followed by an interactive two hour session during which the participants asked questions and gave their comments. Dr. Mash'al explained the general internal Sharia control environment of an Islamic bank and then focused on governance and Sharia compliance. He also explained the interplay between internal Sharia compliance and internal Sharia audit. Dr. Mash'al explained how inherent risks pass through the protection pillar or filter of internal Sharia supervision and the Sharia non-compliance risk is subjected to internal Sharia audit procedures to reduce the likelihood of such risks occurring. If the process is robust it will substantially reduce Sharia non-compliance risk. He emphasized that in order to be effective the internal Sharia auditor has to demonstrate independence and objectivity, technical competence and due care.

Djibouti to host International Islamic Banking Summit

The International Islamic Banking Summit Africa will take place on November 4-5 in Djibouti. The conference will convene international industry leaders to boost economic development and facilitate greater trade and investment flows between Africa and the OIC markets through Islamic finance. It has a format spread over 2 days and will be officially inaugurated on the 4th of November with special keynote addresses by Ahmed Othman, Governor of the Central Bank of Djibouti; Abdelrahman Hassan Abdelrahman Hashim, Governor, Central Bank of Sudan; and Ijlal Alvi, Chief Executive Officer, The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM).

CBB, SCW hold first "Women in Finance" roundtable

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in cooperation with the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) hosted a roundtable discussion on the "Challenges Facing Women in Reaching Positions of Authority in the Financial Sector" on the 29th of April 2015. The session brought together leading female figures from the industry to share their experiences and insights into the obstacles that remain for women in climbing the corporate ladder. The roundtable was the first in a series campaign of activities to celebrate and promote the role of "Women in the Financial and Banking Sector" which leads to the main conference on November 30th 2015 under the theme ‘Women in Finance and Banking’.

AAOIFI holds 14th Annual Sharia Conference

Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) will hold, under the auspices of the Central Bank of Bahrain, the 14th edition of its Annual Shari’a Conference on March 22-23 in Bahrain. The conference will be held in 7 sessions to discuss topics relating to application of Shari’a to international Islamic finance products, services and practices as well as continuing innovation of Islamic finance to support further growth and expansion. Following the conference, AAOIFI will hold training sessions for its Certified Shari’a Adviser and Auditor (CSAA) and Certified Islamic Professional Accountant (CIPA) qualification programs from 24 to 27 March 2015.

EDB-ICD joint partnership announced

The Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on July 9 to promote SME growth in Bahrain. Under the terms of the joint partnership, the ICD will establish an Islamic Ijara Company in Bahrain to help SMEs succeed by offering Sharia-compliant financing products. The proposed Ijara Company will also be used as a training centre to help Bahrainis in the area of Islamic finance. In addition, ICD plans to set up a software development centre in Bahrain for software solutions for Ijara, Takaful, Mortgage and Islamic Banking, for export to the international market. Moreover, the ICD will assess the feasibility of establishing an SME Fund in partnership with the EDB, with the aim of supporting and investing in SMEs based in Bahrain.

Family Bank takes part in Third Global Islamic Micro-Finance Forum

The Family Bank took part in the Third Global Islamic Micro-Finance Forum which is organised by the Al-Huda Centre of Islamic Banking and Islamic Economics (CIBE). The two-day forum includes a workshop on "How to Develop, Operate and Sustain Islamic Micro-Finance Institutions", in which a number of experts and consultants are participating. Family Bank, led by the Social Development Minister and Board of Directors Chairperson Dr. Fatima Mohammed Al-Balushi, implements its programmes in cooperation with the Labour Find (Tamkeen). It is the first Islamic micro-finance bank in the Middle East with the prime objective to contribute to poverty alleviation and socio-economic empowerment of the communities by providing sustainable Islamic financial services to the needy.

New BisB Chairman Appointed

The Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) has appointed Abdul Razaq Al-Qassim as new board chairman. Mr. Al-Qassim will take over from incumbent Khalid Al-Bassem, who opted to quit after holding the position for eight years. The appointment was on the sidelines of a BisB board meeting which finalized the sale of shares of Kuwaiti Investment House Holding Co. (51% of BisB shares) to National Bank of Bank (25.8%) and the General Organisation for Social Insurance (25.8%). The bank has also decided to convene a regular general assembly on July 7 to elect a new board following the ownership overhaul.

Finance Ministry invites private sector to benefit from the ICIEC services

Ministry of Finance's Assistant Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Mr. Yusuf Abdullah Humood said that the Bahraini private sector should benefit from the services provided by the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC). The corporation's benefits include support of exports and provision of services to exporters, banks, investors and other economic establishments. Moreover, the influx of overseas investments is increased and the necessary insurance for new projects and exports of goods is provided. Last year, the ICIEC approved to cover 6 projects of Bahraini investors and banks at the value of USD 273 million.

Investcorp Hosts 13th GCC Corporate Governance Workshop

Investcorp together with GCC Board Directors Institute (BDI) will be the hosts of a two and a half day workshop on Corporate Governance. The workshop will be held at the Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City starting on December 10 and continuing until December 12, 2012. At the workshop, faculty members of leading advisory institutions will acquaint participants with building board members' capabilities. An extensive peer discussion is included in the programme. Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister Of Culture of the Kingdom Of Bahrain, will discuss the topics of Culture and Bahrain at the BDI alumni dinner on the second night of the workshop. A keynote speech at the welcome dinner will be held by CEO of Gulf Air Samer Majali. Its topic will be "Establishing a Strong Corporate Governance Framework at Gulf Air".

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