Major Islamic funds conference opens

Leading players, industry thought leaders and key regulators in the international Islamic investments and asset management industry will come together in Bahrain today for the start of a two-day conference.

The 9th Annual World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference (WIFFMC 2013), is taking place in strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), organisers said.

More than 400 international industry leaders are expected to participate in critical discussions that will focus on “Broadening the Base of Investors and Issuers; and Boosting the International Growth of Islamic Capital Markets and Investments”.

The conference will open with a keynote address by CBB executive director for financial institutions supervision Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker.

The recent acceleration in the Islamic funds and investments industry is set to grow further as governments and institutions in the Middle East, South East Asia and beyond increasingly seek Sharia-compliant instruments as a viable alternative for raising capital and also for diversifying their investment portfolio, he said.

read more at : http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=354082

source : Gulf-daily

Islamic funds growth slows while the amount of investable assets increases,

The third report of Ernst & Young devoted to investment funds and Islamic investments have been made ​​public on the occasion of the International Conference on Islamic funds and capital markets, which was held in Bahrain, May 25.

This report indicates that the active region from the Persian Gulf and Asia, invested in accordance with the Sharia reached 736 billion U.S. dollars.

These assets include investments made ​​by many market participants using different instruments, such as Awqaf (donations to charities often recognized public utility), contributions to foundations, Takaful (insurance companies mutuals and co-operatives) and sovereign wealth funds. This translates into a potential source of income of 3.86 billion U.S. dollars for the industry Islamic asset management. Investment funds, however, remain small in size, since more than half of them have less than U.S. $ 20 million in assets under management.
The number of new funds launched has dropped from 271 in 2006-2007 to only 89 for the period of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009. This movement reflects the significant market correction initiated in the last year.

Google translated

read more at : http://www.ey.com/LU/en/Newsroom/News-releases/release_croissance-fonds-islamiques-june2009

Australia’s Islamic stock index launched

MARK COLVIN: A new Australian share index has joined the likes of the ASX 200 and All Ordinaries. It’s the Islamic Australia Index.

The index’s creators are the global financial information company Thomson Reuters and Islamic investment manager Crescent Wealth.

Thomson Reuters’ global head of Islamic capital markets Dr Sayd Farook and Crescent Wealth’s Talal Yassine spoke to Michael Janda.

SAYD FAROOK: We avoid investments predominantly in leverage, in what we call morally hazardous industries; armaments, pornography, alcohol etc and then we have some quantitative methods of screening out companies that have particular amounts of debt, or have particular percentages of investment in prohibited activities.

MICHAEL JANDA: So as a concrete example what Australian companies would be eligible and what Australian companies are ineligible for this index?

SAYD FAROOK: So you think about companies such as CSL, Woodside Petroleum, these kinds of resource energy stocks, such as AGL Energy, these would be eligible stocks. On the other hand stocks such as Amalgamated Holdings and the like that are in cinema and broadcasting, or …

Read more http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2012/s3420811.htm

source : ABC.NET.AU

Tapping Islamic funds

The 7th annual World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference (WIFFMC 2011) will feature critical discussions on strengthening the Islamic funds and investments industry and building international growth by tapping into new jurisdictions.

Convened under the official support of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), WIFFMC 2011, to be held under the theme ‘achieving international scale and creating a vibrant Islamic financial market and re-invigorating the Islamic investments industry’, will gather more than 400 key players, regulators and thought leaders in the industry on September 26-27 in Bahrain.

David McLean, WIFFMC managing director, said: “Amidst increasing international integration of Islamic finance, cross-border Sharia compliant investment flows are increasingly contributing to more efficient mobilisation and allocation of funds across regions and also strengthening the financial and economic linkages across various jurisdictions.

“These trends have undoubtedly supported and reinforced the recovery and growth of the global Islamic funds and investments market.”

WIFFMC will begin with a keynote address by Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker, executive director – financial institutions supervision at the CBB. That will be followed by keynote addresses by Germain Birgen, chairman – LFF Islamic Finance Task Force, chairman – ALFI Islamic Finance & ME Working Group, managing director – Global Head HSBC Amanah Securities Services – HSBC Securities Services (Luxembourg) and Gary Palmer, chief executive, Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA).

The session will discuss key regulatory initiatives to strengthen the Islamic investments industry and will also assess the growth opportunities for Islamic funds in dynamic new jurisdictions.

Mr Al Baker believes there are ‘tremendous opportunities’ for the Islamic funds and investments industry as investors are in search of new investment avenues and asset-classes for greater risk diversification and improved returns.

“In order to tap into these opportunities, it is essential that the industry undergoes innovation in terms of introduction of new asset classes, improvements in global Sharia standardisation, and development of new products and structures,” he added.

“With the increasing challenges of managing funds and investments across multiple geographies and jurisdictions, it is vital to facilitate greater sharing of technical expertise and experiences on Islamic financial markets and infrastructure development including the harmonisation of regulatory arrangements. WIFFMC 2011 will be an ideal platform for the industry to tackle these critical challenges.”

source : gulf weekly