Category Archives: Bahrain

Islamic banking assets to exceed $1 trillion

Islamic banking assets to exceed $1 trillion

Islamic banking is growing at a phenomenal rate and expected to have assets under management in excess of $1 trillion by 2010.That is one of the conclusions of the World Islamic Banking Competitiveness report which will be unveiled in Bahrain today at the 14th World Islamic Banking Conference which is being held at the Gulf Hotel.

The event kicked off yesterday with pre-conference workshops organised by MTI Consulting of Bahrain, McKinsey and Fitch Ratings.

In the MTI workshop, which looked at marketing effectiveness within the industry, chief executive Hilmy Cader argued that the Islamic banking industry had to improve its marketing and look into product development and service quality within the industry.

He said that ITO research showed that while there were lots of products within the industry their were question marks over how well they met the consumer needs.

“Our research shows that we need improvements in the quality of customer services within the industry,” he said. “Many customers remain unsure about the real difference between conventional and Islamic finance and that has to change.”

He added that the industry was continuing to expand with money moving from conventional finance to the Islamic model across the region.

That is a view backed by McKinsey’s report which says that that Islamic banks are growing at a faster level than conventional banking across a wide area.

The report, to be published today, also states that the rising interest in Islamic finance corresponds to the increase in the number of players in the market.

While most of the current growth is coming from mainstream businesses and corporate banking three areas of growth stand out, according to McKinsey partner, Ozgur Tanrikulu.

He said that sukuk would continue their fast growth curve, driven by large infrastructure and real estate projects and investors search for diversification from fixed income instruments.

Assets management is also set to boom, he said and the Asian Islamic market was also set to grow, driven by government support and product innovation.

Around 1,000 delegates from both the Islamic and conventional financial industry from across the globe will turn up for the 14th WIBC.

Islamic banker award at WIBC forum

Islamic banker award at WIBC forum

The winner of the Islamic Banker of the Year 2007 will be announced on Sunday at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) in Bahrain.It is one of the global Islamic banking and finance industry’s oldest and most prestigious awards.

The award, which recognises the industry’s most outstanding achievements, will be handed out at a gala dinner and awards ceremony hosted by JP Morgan during the 14th Annual WIBC at the Gulf Hotel.

“For more than a decade, the Islamic Banker of the Year Award has recognised ground-breaking achievements by the executive leaders of the international Islamic industry,” WIBC managing director David McLean said.

“The award has achieved a greater significance in the current climate, with the industry surging into its next phase of development.”

The award is traditionally given to an established Islamic banker who has made notable contributions to the Islamic services industry during the year.

Key selection criteria will include strategy, innovation and leadership as in spearheading the launch of institutions or re-positioning landmark institutions or launching new products or services or driving substantial wholesale Islamic transactions and international involvement and complexity.

“The Islamic Banker of the Year Award is one of the most prestigious awards in Islamic finance. It recognises the outstanding efforts of a truly exceptional individual who has helped develop our industry,” Ernst and Young’s Islamic Financial Services Group head Sameer Abdi said.

The award is supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain and uses a peer-based voting system amongst a select group of industry leaders.

Ernst & Young, the official auditors for the event, applies a series of criteria developed in collaboration with the WIBC to ascertain the final winner.

Additionally two prestigious awards, The Institutional Excellence Award and The Industry Leadership Award will also be presented at the WIBC.

Ernst & Young “Most outstanding Business Advisory & Consulting Firm”

Top award for Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young has won an award for the second time in a row at the fourth Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum 2007.

It was once again awarded the title of “Most outstanding Business Advisory & Consulting Firm”.

Bahrain-based Ernst & Young’s Islamic Financial Services Group head Sameer Abdi was in Kuala Lumpur to receive the award.

“This is an important award, not just for us but also for Bahrain,” said Mr Abdi. “Bahrain has long been recognised as a centre of the global Islamic financial services industry and peer recognition like this goes a long way towards cementing Bahrain’s place.”

WIBC Bahrain: World’s largest Islamic Finance platform

The 14th WIBC to set new records as the world’s largest ever platform for Islamic Finance leaders

A new attendance record is set to be achieved as 1,000 delegates representing the decision-makers of the world’s leading Islamic financial institution will gather at the 14th annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) at the Gulf International Convention Centre in Bahrain.

Speaking ahead of the conference, which takes place on 8, 9 and 10 December 2007, David McLean, Managing Director of MEGA, the owners of the WIBC brand, highlighted the growth of the event over the past 14 years:

‘In 1993, with only a handful of Islamic banks in existence, a mere 120 pioneering delegates attended the first ever WIBC. Today, with the extraordinary proliferation of Islamic financial institutions worldwide, 1000 delegates from more than 35 countries will attend WIBC this year. Working with over 60 partners and sponsors from industry-leading companies further highlights the pivotal role that WIBC plays as the largest and most significant gathering of Islamic banking & finance industry leaders anywhere in the world.’

Senior executives from market-leading institutions further echo this growth. Yousif Taqi, the Chief Executive Officer of Al Salam Bank, emphasises that: ‘Every year we witness increasing interest from key financial institutions to attend WIBC as it stimulates insightful debate on substantial issues facing the global industry.’

While John Weguelin, the Managing Director of European Islamic Investment Bank, highlights that: ‘WIBC is the one event that successfully brings together the major players in the Islamic finance market and is unquestionably the most important conference on the Islamic banking calendar.’

Networking between industry powerhouses is also high on the agenda. In addition to the substantial information exchange and knowledge transfer that takes place at the plenary sessions of the World Islamic Banking Conference, there is also significant value to be gained from the activities and discussions that take place on the sidelines of the main conference. From international press briefings to informal networking, the WIBC Sidelines is a creative environment conducive to getting the most from participation in the conference.

The WIBC exhibition also runs alongside the conference and provides a showcase for the latest developments in the industry, new financial services product launches and innovative solutions, with an emphasis on improving efficiency and performance.

With a focus on The World Comes to WIBC, this year will see the launch of the UK Pavilion. Hosted by the UK Trade & Investment, the UK Pavilion will feature a high powered delegation of decision makers representing key banks and institutions based in the UK, including the London Stock Exchange. With major initiatives already underway to establish London as a key European centre for Islamic finance, the UK Pavilion will be a dynamic and interactive space to meet with those leaders who are currently forging the UK’s role in Islamic finance, especially with exciting developments advancing on the UK Sukuk market.

Furthermore, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), a global organisation which supports over 158,000 students and members in more than 161 countries, will be launching a new specialist Islamic Finance qualification at the WIBC pre-dinner reception on the evening of 9 December.

Robert Jelly, Director of Education at CIMA, will be speaking at the pre-dinner reception at which the CIMA Certificate in Islamic Finance will be launched. He explains: ‘CIMA has identified that there is considerable demand from the global business community to develop the knowledge and skills needed to service the increasingly important Islamic Finance market. The CIMA Certificate in Islamic Finance is the first of its kind to be created by an accountancy body and I look forward to launching our global certificate at the WIBC alongside Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, who has assisted us in the development of the qualification’.

The Executive Business Lounge, hosted by Bahrain Financial Services Development (BFSD), will enable the delegates to more effectively connect with key clients, prospects and international media in a more interactive and spacious platform. Premium coffee from Starbucks, wireless internet and other business benefits are the order of the day at the BFSD Business Lounge.

In addition, the VIP Networking Area, hosted by BankMuscat International will help participants meet and unwind in an informal and relaxed environment.