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

Guidance note on shariah compliant funds issued – Malta

A guidance note for shariah compliant funds has been issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

The note explains how the legal and regulatory framework established under the Investment Services Act would apply to shariah-compliant funds established under Maltese law.

The MFSA stated that Malta’s principles-based regulatory regime lays emphasis on the disclosure of all information that the investor needed to know before taking the investment decision and on the transparency of investment management process itself.

This allowed a high degree of freedom on the choice of investment strategies and asset allocation policies adopted by investment funds, subject to conditions that varied according to the level of experience and investment expertise of the target investor.

On this basis, the note establishes that, whether set up as professional investor funds, undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (Ucits) or non-Ucits retail funds, shariah funds may be regulated in the same manner as non-shariah funds.

The level of disclosure and the applicable conditions would be the same as those that were applicable to the respective category of retail or professional funds.

The guidance note requires that funds presenting themselves as shariah compliant were required to disclose all the relevant details in this respect in the fund prospectus or offering document as well as in their financial statements as part of their ongoing obligations.

The note explains the role of the shariah Advisory Board in relation to that of the fund manager to ensure that the financial soundness of the manager’s decisions was not conditioned by non-financial considerations.

It was, however, also the manager’s responsibility to ensure that the fund satisfied the relevant shariah principles and requirements as disclosed in the offering document.

The note may be downloaded from the MFSA website under securities/guide to regulation.

source : timesofmalta