The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is organising a Seminar on Islamic Finance with the theme, "The Real Economy and the Financial Sector" on 24 May 2016 in Madrid, Spain, supported by the Banco de Espana and in collaboration with the IE Business School, Spain. This Seminar is part of the IFSB European Forum series, held in prominent financial centres in Europe. The one-day 'Seminar on Islamic Finance' is designed to encourage broad interaction among the delegates to explore the potential re-alignment of economic policy frameworks in a manner that strengthens the linkages between the real economy and the financial sector.
Resetting Priorities - Redefining Roles
Five years ago, the Global Donors Forum was convened in Dubai to take on a challenging task: to define the roadmap for Muslim giving into the next decade. As a growing network of philanthropists, grantmaking foundations and socially responsible corporations, the Forum lead a consultative dialogue among the thought leaders from which, it was hoped, a new social compact could emerge.
Half a decade on, with the world having changed dramatically as events in the Middle East would attest, the Global Donors Forum 2016, has a new set of issues to focus upon. Foremost among these is the need to rigorously analyse the past decade in order to ascertain how best to formulate strategies to counter emerging challenges. The GDF 2016 will, therefore, attempt to set new priorities as it looks to redefine the role of philanthropy, with a focus on the Muslim world in a radically changed global landscape.
Representatives from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) gathered in Khartoum for the Financial Inclusion Forum: the Strategic Approach Towards Financial and Social Stability, held from 23 to 24 February. More than 350 people from 11 Arab countries participated in the forum’s events, namely Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman. Financial inclusion was framed as a measure to support financial and social stability in the Arab region. The participants issued a series of recommendations that would better enable the banking sectors in each respective country to ensure economic financial inclusion.
With a more inclusive foreign policy, including a renewed stance on the Middle East and Africa, Chinese president Xi Jinping has set in motion greater China-OIC relations, with the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative a central pillar to China’s grand strategy. In light of this development, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) is hosting an event to connect investors and regulators from Asia, Africa and the Gulf with senior decision-makers of the world’s second-largest economy. To be held in Beijing on the 22nd March, 2016, the pioneering China OIC Forum aims to enhance partnerships between key industry players and multilateral bodies as well as identify joint investment opportunities.
Hosted by Bank Negara Malaysia, organised by the RFI Foundation and co-organised by Middle East Global Advisors, the Responsible Finance Summit will take place on 30-31 March at Sasana Kijang, a center for knowledge and learning excellence established by Bank Negara Malaysia. The Summit has announced the support of SEDCO Capital, the Saudi firm that manages assets across a diversified spectrum of investments in real estate, equities and other businesses with a total AUM of $3.9 billion. The Summit will host a discussion between leaders in the Islamic finance and responsible investment to identify how to fully realise the emerging market responsible finance opportunity.
Islamic Business and Finance Development Fund and REDmoney Group are jointly organizing IFN CIS & Russia Forum on 15th of March 2016 in Moscow. Islamic finance should become one of the strongest driving forces toward effective development of an international market that unites more than 182 million people of the Eurasian Economic Union. Participation in the Forum has already been confirmed by representatives of the largest Russian and international financial institutions.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, said he welcomed an offer by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to organisze a financing roundtable in Abuja to mobilise more funds for investment and development of infrastructure in Nigeria. The president of the IDB, Dr Ahmed Mohammed Ali made the offer at a meeting with Buhari who is currently on an official visit to Saudi Arabia. Ali assured Buhari that the IDB would work with its traditional partners such as the Saudi Fund, the Kuwait Fund, Arab Bank for Development in Africa and the Abu Dhabi Fund, to increase the quantum of funding available to Nigeria. Buhari welcomed the plan by the IDB to fast track the take-off of the Bilingual Education Programme, aimed at integrating the Almajiri system of education with western education in Nigeria.
The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) tackles the profound structural problems in the Islamic Micro and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSME) finance industry. The recent CIBAFI Global Islamic Bankers Survey from 83 Heads of Islamic banks in 35 countries revealed that MSME finance serves as the second key driver of sustainable growth of Islamic banks. Nonetheless, expanding this business line depends on the development of external factors of this market segment, as well as on how Islamic financial institutions can enhance their technical infrastructures in serving MSMEs. CIBAFI has therefore started the initiative to organize a series of Roundtable Meetings on the topic.
Minister of Islamic Affairs Saleh Al-Asheikh inaugurated Sunday the 3rd Endowment Forum in Riyadh. On the first day of the two-day event, sessions were held on endowment management systems and on endowments and their application. On Monday, sessions covered topics such as the reality of endowment in Saudi Arabia, international experiences in endowment, as well as the institutional structure of endowment. In addition to the discussion sessions, other activities included an exhibition and consultation service on endowments along with workshops on establishing endowments, modern trends in using endowment revenues, factors of successful investment, and the reality of charitable association endowments in the Kingdom.
The Responsible Finance Summit has announced the support of the International Shari'ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) for the Summit. The Summit, which will be hosted by Bank Negara Malaysia, will include the participation of ISRA's Executive Director Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin, who will join a panel session on the popular perceptions about responsible finance and how Islamic finance can contribute to expanding its appeal to a wider audience. The Summit, organized by RFI Foundation and co-organized by Middle East Global Advisors, also represents a setting for ISRA to highlight its work in applied Shari'ah research on Islamic finance, particularly on ethical dimensions of Islamic finance.
La chaire éthique et normes et de la finance (CENF) de l'Université Paris 1 en partenariat avec le laboratoire d'excellence sur la régulation financière (LabEx RéFi) organisent une table ronde sur "La religion dans la finance : risques, marketing et réalités" le 10 février 2016 à 18h. Cet évènement aura lieu dans la salle 1 du Centre Panthéon (12 place du Panthéon) et accueillera Frédéric Baule (consultant indépendant), Nicolas Hardy (Analyste financier, Standard & Poor´s Ratings Services) ainsi que Edouard Fernandez-Bollo (autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution) et sera modérée par Pierre-Charles Pradier (Paris 1).
The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group (ADSG) announces the upcoming Sustainable Business Leadership Forum. The Forum fosters sustainable development, innovation, and responsible business growth. The Forum offers a platform for sustainability practitioners from every sector to share their sustainability practices. The Forum will also provide opportunities to learn from regional sustainability leaders and be exposed to some of the latest sustainability approaches from global thought-leaders. The Abu Dhabi Sustainable Business Leadership Forum will take place from: 17-18 February 2016, in Abu Dhabi.
Hosted by Operation HOPE in January in Atlanta (Georgia, USA), the 2016 Hope Global Forums Annual Meeting convened to Reimagine the Global Economy with a focus on 'Inclusive Economics'. Setting forth a goal to outline a solid vision for today's global economy, the meeting connected global leaders and Nobel Prize winners with government officials and the private sector. Leading the efforts to deliver youth financial literacy in the region with the Riyali financial literacy program, SEDCO Holding Group participated in this fourth edition of the Hope Global Forums. The three-day Annual Meeting topics covered the new and modern global economy, and demonstrated how community can serve as a call to action to inspire innovation and thought leadership to achieve economic growth and financial stability.
The 18th Microcredit Summit, “Frontier Innovations in Financial Inclusion” will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on March 15-17, 2016. The objective of the event is to provide a platform for participants to discuss financial inclusion policies, regulatory frameworks, resilience and empowerment solutions, microfinance products, and synergies with the aim of promoting social inclusion for all. The conference will address themes: (1) “National Financial Inclusion Strategies;” (2) “Pathways to Social & Financial Inclusion;” and (3) “Partnerships that Build Bridges to New Frontiers.” Additional information is available on the event website http://18microcreditsummit.org/.
Under the benefaction of AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics (AlHuda-CIBE) and Akhuwat, the 5th Global Islamic Microfinance forum (GIMF) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The forum had their focus on financial inclusion, outreach strategies of Islamic Microfinance, Innovation and sustainable operational strategies with emphasis on linkages, institutional support, cross boarder knowledge sharing with practical experiences and donor linkages for the development of the Industry. The Guest of Honor at the Forum, Dr. Azeema Adam, Governor, Maldives Monetary Authority (Central Bank), Maldives, gave detailed overview of Maldives Monetary Authority for the development of Islamic Microfinance and other Islamic Financial components.
Nigerian financial operators have identified Sukuk Islamic bond as a major tool that can be used in closing the country's gap on infrastructural deficit. Raising from the two days 2nd international conference on Islamic Finance which opened on the 30th Nov and closed 1st of Dec 2015 in Abuja, financial experts from the country's public and private sector having exhaustively deliberated with their international global counter parts, resolved to urgently turn up the volume on enlightenment campaigns so as to create the required awareness to investors and operators on the potentials of Sukuk. The conference also recognized and appreciated individuals whom have contributed immensely in Islamic banking in Nigeria and globally.
Lunch menu during the Arab Forum for Environment and Development’s conference on sustainable consumption constituted entirely of local organic food. Moreover, this was the first conference in the Arab region where “recycled” food was served: intact remains of Mediterranean fish served on day one were used to make a delicious fish-filet plate on day two. In addition, no plastic bottles were used during the two day conference, which were replaced by re-usable glass bottles. Within the same context, and in cooperation with AFED, the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) organized a session during the conference on the Mediterranean diet as part of sustainable food systems.
On Dec. 3, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. in Arts W-215, McGill will host an information session about the World Social Forum (WSF) coming to Montreal on Aug. 9-14, 2016. The World Social Forum 2016 expects between 50,000 and 80,000 people from more than 120 countries and nearly 5,000 local and global civil society organizations to participate collectively in 1,500 workshops, conferences, and arts-based activities over the course of six days. The larger aim is to build bridges between Montreal’s francophone and anglophone communities, and the many other linguistic and cultural communities that call Montreal and Quebec home.
At a recent IMF forum, George Akerlof, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics, discussed his new book, which is based on the idea that free market forces can produce systemic harm by exploiting human weaknesses.
Ever since Adam Smith, the central teaching of economics has been that free markets provide us with material well-being, as if by an invisible hand. In a recent book, Phishing for Phools—The Economics of Manipulation and Deception, Nobel Prize–winning economists George Akerlof, University Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and former resident scholar at the Fund, and Robert J. Shiller, Professor at Yale, deliver a fundamental challenge to this insight. They argue that markets are inherently filled with tricks and traps and will “phish” us as “phools.”
Islamic finance seen as a real point of convergence between the East and the West. Hasan AlJabri, CEO of SEDCO Capital participated in the Global Ethical Finance Forum which was hosted by the Scottish Government and in cooperation with the UK Islamic Finance Council.
The forum which took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, brought together thought leaders and executives from the ethical finance industry to ‘discuss untapped opportunities and spur convergence and collaboration’. The forum was officially opened by Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia and HRH Emir Muhammad Sanusi II, Emir of Kano.
Under the title “Growing the global ethical finance industry through collaboration and convergence”, AlJabri pointed that although there are many different forms of responsible investments, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), and Islamic Finance, they all emerge from concern about the social and environmental consequences of investment practices, and a desire to ensure that investors make a positive contribution to the societies in which they operate to create sustainable economic development.