Islamic Development Bank (IDB) president Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al Madani suggested four key areas for the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) to focus on durich his keynote address at the 10th IFSB Summit in Kuala Lumpur. These include the creation of a conducive enabling environmen, adoption of IFSB and AAOIFI standards by all stakeholders, shortage of qualified manpower and financial inclusion through Islamic microfinance, supported by Zakat and Awqaf. In this context, IDB hopes for more collaborative opportunities with IFSB. Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdulla Saoud Al-Thani, chairman of IFSB 2013, highlighted some of the challenges that lie ahead in the Islamic financial service industry like the under-penetrated Takaful industry.
Kuwaiti Ambassador to Qatar Ali Salman Al-Haifi praised Kuwaiti-Qatar coordination, namely setting up the sixth waqf forum. The forum which concluded on Tuesday reflected keenness of the two countries on maintaining the Islamic endowment, which is one of the important pillars for social solidarity, Al-Haifi said. The two-day forum, which dealt with emerging issues and Islamic legitimacy, was organized by Qatar's Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, in coordination with Kuwait Awqaf awqaf authorities and the Islamic Research and Training Institute, an affiliate of the Islamic Development Bank Group.
The sixth waqf forum will kick off in Doha on Monday under auspices of Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani with delegations from 15 Arab and Muslim countries. The forum, themed "new issues and juridical rooting," will discuss a number of legal contemporary issues relating to the Islamic jurisprudence in the area 'Awaqf' (endowments). The gathering is being organized by the Qatari Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in collaboration with Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation (KAPF) and the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB).
The 3rd Bank Indonesia International Seminar on Islamic Finance with the title “A New Phase of the Islamic Finance: Capturing the Untapped Area to Improve the Quality of Economic Development” is going to take place in Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, Bali, on 30th – 31st May 2013. Several topics regarding Islamic finance will be discussed, such as potential products and segments correlated with the economic growth and stability of financial system and the role of Islamic finance for underprivileged communities and small-micro economic groups. An in-depth discussion is needed to evaluate the mindset of Islamic financial industry development and to identify the potential untapped areas to obtain some effective recommendations with the purpose of reaching the quality of economic growth. Please see the attached file for more details as well as registration procedure.
Bank Nizwa and INCEIF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), under which the institutions will collaborate to jointly provide structured training and development initiatives for Omani nationals working in the Islamic Finance Industry. The MoU was signed at the Oman Islamic Economic Forum (OIEF), held recently at the Al Bustan Palace. The OIEF, the brainchild of Amjaad Development and Bank Nizwa, took the theme of 'The Islamic Economy: a Culture of Excellence'. INCEIF, The Global University of Islamic Finance, was set up by Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia) to develop human capital for the global Islamic finance industry. The collaboration aims to provide thought leadership training to the Omani Islamic finance industry in order for the regional and global industry to benefit.
Iran plans to hold the 7th International Exchange, Bank and Insurance (FINEX) exhibition early May which is Middle East's largest financial and investment expo. Over 280 foreign and internal companies will join the event. The expo hosts 12 foreign financial companies from Turkey, the UAE, Russia, Pakistan, Indonesia and South Korea. Exchange, bank and insurance, that is, capital and money markets and insurance industry are parts of the exhibition. The expo is held on May 7-10. Besides, the 5th international Islamic capital market conference will be held in Tehran on April 28-29.
Senior Shariah scholars and advisers of Islamic banks and conventional banks with Islamic windows have agreed to standardise Forex and interbank Musharakah agreements between Islamic banks and Islamic banking windows. This move will facilitate the availability of Shariah-compliant venues for deployment of excess liquidity of Islamic banks. This agreement was reached during a meeting called by Meezan Bank Ltd, in which Shariah scholars discussed the challenges in Islamic Treasury Operations.The forum was attended by several prominent Shariah scholars along with Product Development and Treasury professionals of all major Islamic banks and Islamic banking windows of conventional banks.
Mercer in partnership with the Institute for International Research Middle East (IIRME), will be presenting the findings of its latest survey on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Programs, Policies and Practices in the region at the 10th CSR Summit held on May 21, 2013 at The Address Hotel Dubai Marina. Taking place over a period from April to May, 2013, the results will be ready for sharing at the conference organised by IIRME on the very same topic. The session will also provide a platform for benchmarking local practices to the global findings from the survey. The survey is open until May 1st, 2013.
According to a report released at the opening of the 8th Annual World Takaful Conference (WTC) in Dubai on Monday, the growth of family takaful has outperformed the growth in conventional life insurance, with an annual growth rate of 32 per cent. Its gross contributions are set to treble to $5.6 billion by 2016. However, the latest industry data reveals a slight deceleration in the growth rates. A critical factor that will determine the industry's success is the existence of players with the right quality, as well their readiness to respond to new market opportunities. The report addresses the increased need for a pertinent reference source to help industry leaders navigate the evolving family takaful landscape.
More than 5,000 organizations and over 60,000 participants took part in this year’s World Social Fórum. The four day event was held at the University of Tunis on the outskirts of the Tunisian capital. Among the 1000 workshops offered, popular themes were climate change, women, migration, globalization and economic justice. However, workshops on issues related to sub-Sahara Africa, The U.N., and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were absent. On the third day, two groups, one supporting President Assad, the other one supporting the opposition were confronting each other. A scuffle ensued and Forum organizers had to intervene. Some organizers proposed that the next Forum, to be held in two years, also take place in Tunisia to build on the contacts and structures built during this year's forum.
Independent consulting firm CSR Lebanon held the 3rd CSR Lebanon Forum on March 18 and 19 entitled "Corporate Social Responsibility in Times of Uncertainty". The fórum was attended by more than 500 leaders from the business community, government, civil society and academia. Among them, there were 30 international, regional and local corporate sustainability experts, along with chief representatives from the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). All speakers and international representatives provided business cases which Lebanon can build upon to promote responsible business practices and transparent sustainability reporting.
The two-day Forum for Corporate Social Responsibility, where several issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Saudi Arabia will be discussed, opened in Jeddah on April 9. Moreover, the names of the winning Saudi companies recognised for implementing social responsibility programs launched by the Chamber of Commerce last year will be announced at the forum. Several sessions tackle the different aspects of CSR, such as aligning business strategy and social responsibility programs, or linking youth social initiatives with funding sources and technical support.
Cotonou will hold a two-day 'Islamic Development Bank (IDB) days' from Tuesday to strengthen cooperation between the bank and Beninese public and private stakeholders. The event aims particularly at familiarizing the Beninese public and private stakeholders with the different policies and actions implemented by the IDB group in the country. The assistance covers various areas such as education, health, agriculture, infrastructure and environment. For this year, the bank's projects include a the Tovegbamè bridge for which US$9 million has been approved and US$120 million for a basic education project. The bank will also give technical assistance and donations to flood victims in Benin.
Panelists at the 2nd Annual PPP Investment Summit called the new sukuk law ‘quantum leap’ towards introducing Sharia-compliant products to the Egyptian market. It was confirmed at the Summit that seventeen upcoming Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects will be financed using sukuk. The Ministry of Finance is considering using sukuk to finance a number of PPP projects including silos projects, developing roads, and the Ain Shams -10th of Ramadan city train line in order to link the industrial sites along the way. However, panelists explained that infrastructure projects require more than one method of financing and that there are various Islamic financing methods available.
The third edition of Saudi Corporate Social Responsibility Forum (CSRF) will be held in Jeddah from April 9-10.
The event is being organized by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JCCI) at the Park Hyatt Hotel.
The winner of the CSRF Award recognizing best practices and initiatives in social responsibility will be announced at the forum, which will have the participation of a number of senior government officials, experts and businessmen from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Arab world. The fórum is expected to review a number of key issues, especially the performance of Saudi companies in social responsibility programs.
Melbourne has been named as the host of the 2014 ethical bank conference, organised by the Global Alliance of Banking on Values (GABV). The conference will be hosted by Australian owned bankmecu and will be attended by 22 of the world’s leading sustainable banks. bankmecu Managing Director Damien Walsh said that these annual meetings provide an opportunity to discuss the role and responsibilities of banks and how they can contribute to a more sustainable world and a social economy. The carbon neutral event will have the theme of leadership in banking and will be held in March 2014.
More than 100 West Yorkshire Muslims attended an event in Bradford which focused on Islamic finance. The networking dinner was organised by the Professional Muslim Institute and sponsored by the Islamic Bank of Britain plc and Ummah Financial, two of West Yorkshire’s leading Islamic finance providers. Guest speaker was Imam Qari Asim, senior Imam at Leeds Makkah Mosque.
At a networking event organised by ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) in Manama, His Excellency Dr Abdul-Hussain Bin Ali Mirza, Minister of State for Electricity and Water Affairs, said that the financial scandals of the past have led to a general loss of trust and confidence in auditors. Finance professionals working in Bahrain and the Middle East have been urged to ensure working to the highest ethical standards in order to avoid such scandals. Ethics and integrity are at the heart of ACCA's Competency Framework. The vast majority of Chief Financial Officers said it was important to have a good understanding of professionalism and ethics besides finance expertise and capabilities.
The Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) sponsored the GCC Board Directors Institute (BDI) workshop on Corporate Governance and Board Effectiveness Practices in Riyadh from February 25 to 27. The overall goal of BDI is to support better corporate governance, primarily through building board member capabilities. The workshop brought together senior directors from leading corporate entities and institutions in the region to share knowledge, experiences and best corporate practices.
Economists, financiers, bankers and business owners met late last week to debate the state of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the GCC region, and considered various alternative models for financing SMEs in light of the need for cheaper and more available growth capital. The roundtable examined the importance of SMEs to the economy and considered new opportunities for funding to help these businesses grow. However, for banks, the cost to serve SME clients remains high due mainly to the breadth of risk and experience required to assess that risk. One of the most pressing areas to address is in the provision of financial support for start-ups and micro businesses. According to the panel of SME experts, new technology platforms can make a significant contribution.