Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Masdar Institute will be organizing the fifth commencement ceremony for the Class of 2015. His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, will give the keynote address at the ceremony that will be held on 26 May at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. More than 100 students from 36 countries including the UAE, are expected to receive their Master’s degrees across nine academic programs. Masdar Institute will also be celebrating the commencement of its first PhD graduates in Interdisciplinary Engineering at the ceremony. As of September 2014, the total number of enrolled students was 491, including 148 PhD students.
More than 200 angel investors, start-ups from the MENA region and members of the local media gathered in Bahrain for the commencement of the second MENA Angel Investors Summit 2015. The event was organised by Tenmou, Bahrain's First 'Business Angels, in strategic partnership with the Economic Development Board (EDB). 45 fast-growth start-ups from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Egypt, and Jordan presented their business pitches to the angel investors in attendance in hopes of procuring more funding to take their businesses to the next level. The highlight of the summit was the launch of the region's first networking association, the MENA Angel Investor Network (MAIN).
The Waqf Fund held its 8th Roundtable Discussion on "Venture Capital - Building the Next Phase of Economic Development in Bahrain". The half-day session was attended by a group of 39 senior professionals. Some of the key takeaways from the Roundtable are as follows: Venture capital is an important industry. An ecosystem is needed to create a vibrant venture capital industry. There is a strong case for the government to kick start the venture capital industry. A change of mindset is required among capital owners of the region. The conclusions reached and recommendations provided by the Roundtable Discussion will be compiled by the Waqf Fund for further consideration of the relevant authorities.
"Islamic Finance for Constructive Global Trade and Investment" is the main theme of the VII International economic summit of Russia and member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – KazanSummit 2015, which will be held on June 15-16th in the third capital city of Russia – Kazan. The observer status of OIC that the Russian Federation received in 2005 provides the base for the improving interrelations between Russia and OIC member countries. Hence KazanSummit is the main platform for developing relations between Russian regions and OIC member countries that takes an economic cooperation to the international scene.
The Gulf Bond and Sukuk Association (GBSA), the trade association representing the Arabian Gulf fixed income market, moderated a panel at the World Green Energy Summit in Dubai titled 'The Race for Green Finance/Green Funds and Bonds.' The session connected senior figures from government institutions with global energy players and highlighted the need for financial innovation in green energy funding. Panelists included Abdul Nasser Abbas, Senior Director of Treasury at Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Annette Eberhard, CEO of Denmark's Export Credit Fund, Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bonds, Jarett Carson, Managing Director of EnerTech Capital, and Ben Cotton, Partner at Earth Capital Partners.
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’.
The BNP Paribas - INCEIF Centre for Islamic Wealth Management (CIWM) and Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) held their 2nd annual Islamic Wealth Management Symposium on 28 April 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, aimed at raising national awareness of Islamic wealth management, particularly Islamic trusts and foundations. The Symposium also marked the public unveiling of Labuan IBFC's international waqf foundation, the first Islamic foundation designed with the international market in mind. The Symposium attracted more than 150 delegates. A total of 12 speakers and panelists ranging from regulators, Islamic scholars, academics and industry practitioners, convened to discuss Islamic wealth management.
Turkey, as the chair of G20 group, promotes Islamic finance because it offers additional financial instruments with less uncertainty and shared risks, according to the country’s deputy prime minister Ali Babacan. His comments were made during a panel discussion at the annual spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group in Washington. Islamic finance is safer, according to Babacan, who cited the 2000 and 2009 financial crises. Also for regulation purposes, macro credential purposes, it is considered as a less risky kind of financing means, he added. The more countries develop stronger legal frameworks to support Islamic finance, the more attention the system would get as issuers and investors who are sensitive to Islamic rules participate in the structure.
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the prudential and supervisory standard-setting body for the estimated US2.3 trillion global Islamic finance industry, convenes its 12th Annual Summit on 19 - 21 May 2015 at the Rixos Almaty in Kazakhstan. The Summit, which is hosted by the National Bank of Kazakhstan, could not have a more pertinent theme: 'Core Principles for Islamic Finance: Integrating with the Global Regulatory Framework.' Indeed, the Council of the IFSB at its 26th Meeting, held in Jakarta, Indonesia in early April, approved the adoption of a new Standard on Core Principles for Islamic Finance Regulation (CPIFR)(Banking Segment), known as IFSB-17.
Representatives from G20 and OECD countries will meet in Istanbul on Friday to discuss how companies can avoid too much risk. The G20/OECD Corporate Governance Forum will consider sound corporate organization, safer financial markets, and well-regulated financial systems in emerging markets. The Forum will also address issues of systemic importance to sustainable private sector growth, including the institutionalisation of growth companies and capital market development in emerging market economies. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, a key figure responsible for the economy is scheduled to make the opening speech at the event.
The World Social Forum continues to be the pivotal global venue for left and progressive forces to advance struggles and create internationalist alliances to make another world possible. Tunisia, which provided the spark for the Arab Spring, hosted its second WSF from 24-28 March in its capital Tunis. Tunisia has unfortunately seen an increment in terrorist attacks and, according to estimates, is the largest source of recruits to the Islamic State (IS). Tunisia’s rate of unemployment is at its highest since the 2011 revolution with a huge percentage being educated youth.
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) successfully organised a 'Seminar on Enhancing Financial Inclusion through Islamic Finance' on 31 March 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. This Seminar is organised in conjunction with the IFSB Annual Meetings and Side Events 2015. The one-day Seminar aimed to explore the role of Islamic finance in supporting financial inclusion, the building blocks necessary for the development and promotion of access to finance to the uncovered population and key success factors and challenges in promoting financial inclusion for greater shared prosperity, financial stability and economic growth. The Seminar was followed by the IFSB's 8th Public Lecture on Financial Policy and Stability on 1 April 2015.
Bahrain-based Waqf Fund hosted its eighth Shari'a Scholar session with Islamic finance scholar Professor Dr. Akram Laldin from Malaysia. Dr. Laldin serves on several Shari'a Boards including Bank Negara Malaysia's Shari'a Advisory Council, AAOIFI and a number of Islamic financial institutions in Malaysia and globally. The topic under discussion was "The Challenges of Achieving Shari'a Compliance in Islamic Finance". Dr. Laldin made a presentation on the key challenges in Shari'a compliance and narrated a number of real life cases from his experience as a Shari'a Board member. This was followed by an interactive session during which the participants asked questions and gave their comments.
The 13th World Social Forum (WSF) came to a close after discussing a range of political, social and cultural issues, notably the phenomenon of terrorism and its impacts on democracy. The attendees delivered a message of peace and solidarity from Tunisia's National Bardo Museum, the site of a recent deadly attack. The four-day gathering was held under the slogan of "Together to pursue the revolution of rights and dignity." It gathered representatives of over 5,000 national and multi-national NGOs, including worker, peasant and feminist movements, from 121 countries.
The 10th International Conference on Islamic Economics and Finance (ICIEF), themed "Institutional Aspects of Economic, Monetary and Financial Reforms," opened at Qatar National Convention Center on Monday. The agenda topics include, inter alia; Shariah solutions for liquidity problems in Islamic banks, especially after Basel III; the need for a central Shariah board in each central bank: the pros and the cons; evaluating the role of fiqh academies for the development of the Islamic financial industry, and whether the industry is influenced by their decisions and research; and 'taqlid' and 'ijtihad' - challenges facing fatwa issuance in Islamic finance.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, received an elite group of professors and scholars in the presence of Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The scholars are attending the Islamic Economic FIQH Forum, which kicked off earlier today at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The event will conclude on Tuesday. Sheikh Mohammed and the scholars exchanged views on the importance of Islamic economy in banking, trade and financial transactions.The forum will focus on instilling Islamic jurisprudence in these transactions. It will issue resolutions on the Islamic economy.
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.
In a speech marking the end of a three-day economic conference, Egypt's president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi reiterated his commitment to peace and growth as he sought more investments from the international community, after receiving commitments worth billions of dollars. Egypt signed investment deals worth more than $138 billion on the first two days of the conference, while its Arab Gulf neighbors—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates—pledged another $12 billion to help stabilize its economy. But Mr. Sisi, in his concluding remarks, said his country would need a lot more, as much as $300 billion over the coming years, to make its economy strong enough to give its vast population a genuine chance to prosper.
In celebration of Global Money Week (GMW), SEDCO Holding Group is organizing the Second Financial Dignity Summit under the theme — Money and business — on March 17, in King Abdulaziz University (KAU). The summit will encompass several activities around financial dignity to raise awareness about saving and budgeting. The week-long summit has already simultaneously begun on March 10, during GMW. The summit agenda includes presentations by local successful entrepreneurs. During the summit, 5 shortlisted candidates for the Riyali Young Entrepreneurs’ award will be presenting their projects for a chance to win a substantial financial prize.
The 12th IFSB Summit will be hosted by The National Bank of Kazakhstan. The theme of this year’s Summit is «Core Principles for Islamic Finance: Integrating with the Global Regulatory Framework». The 12th IFSB Summit will focus on the major development in the supervision and monitoring approach to the Islamic financial services industry. In particular, various sessions in the Summit will address the role of the Core Principles in enhancing the regulatory consistency and resilience of the Islamic financial services industry as well as enabling the necessary frameworks and pre-conditions for the assessment of regulatory and supervisory regimes.