Rasheed Al-Maraj

Bahrain to develop central Sharia board for Islamic banks

Bahrain's central bank is setting up a central sharia board to help oversee Islamic finance products in the kingdom and will introduce new rules to strengthen governance in the sector, central bank governor Rasheed al-Maraj said. Traditionally, Islamic banks have practiced self regulation to ensure the sharia-compliance of their products, but a centralised model is increasingly being favoured across the global industry. The central bank will introduce new sharia governance rules to expand the internal sharia review and audit functions, while making it mandatory for banks to have an independent external sharia audit.

Bahrain to see further bank mergers this year - c.bank governor

Bahrain's central bank governor Rasheed al-Maraj has said he expected further bank consolidation this year after a spree of tie-ups in 2013. The central bank has been encouraging smaller lenders to merge to bolster institutions weakened by a local real estate crash and fall-out from the island kingdom's political unrest in 2011, which has continued sporadically since then. In 2013, there were four separate examples of consolidation in the Bahraini banking sector, further tie-ups are expected to be announced by the end of the year. Moreover, the regulator is encouraging Islamic banks in the kingdom to get credit ratings to improve transparency. Maraj added he expected all banks would have a rating in the next two years.

Bahrain eyes ‘reinvention’ of Sharia finance

The Central Bank of Bahrain wants to reinvent Islamic finance as it suggests that smaller players may be squeezed out of the US$1tn market as regulatory standards tighten.
Governor Rasheed Al-Maraj told the 17th annual World Islamic Banking Conference in Bahrain that Sharia compliant institutions must rethink their business model as credit and growth levels enjoyed prior to the 2007-8 crisis are unlikely return.

Growing interest in Bahrain banking sector

Efforts to make Bahrain and its economy more business friendly has attracted growing interest from the Gulf and beyond, Rasheed Al-Maraj, the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), told CNBC Europe’s “Closing Bell” programme in an interview from the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Syndicate content