DIFC and The Wall Street Journal launch Islamic and Ethical Finance Conference
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, September 27 - 2007 at 15:41
- PRESS RELEASE
Islamic finance, the fastest-growing of all the financial sectors around the world, will be the focus of a full-day event at DIFCweek, November 17 - 23.
The appetite for Shariah products for consumers and investors worldwide is increasing exponentially, with the current Islamic finance market estimated at $500 billion with expected annual growth of 10 to 15 per cent.
Meanwhile, financial capitals around the world, regardless of their location, are expanding their infrastructure to build sound and regulated Islamic finance systems.
Nasser Al Shaali, CEO of DIFC Authority, said: "Islamic banking has contributed to economic development in many Muslim countries. And, there have also been substantial benefits to institutions, investors, companies and economies that are not necessarily a part of the Muslim world.
"Globally, the increased intermediation provided by Islamic instruments has helped unlock assets previously unavailable to global capital markets. It has also increased the efficiency with which capital can be allocated, both within the Muslim world and internationally.
"Non-Islamic institutions and governments are issuing Islamic securities, while non-Islamic investors are purchasing Sharia-compliant securities. This means greater access to funding, investment channels, innovation and opportunities for both Islamic and non-Islamic investors," he added.
"The Wall Street Journal is delighted to be associated with DIFCweek," said Michael Bergmeijer, managing director, Dow Jones consumer media group in Europe.
"The Middle East offers exciting economic growth opportunities, and we support the work the DIFC does in contributing to the overall development of the region and in its advancement of Islamic and ethical finance - themes we'll be exploring in more detail at our conference in November."
Some of the topics to come under discussion during the conference are: the ethical responsibilities of the product issuer; the effectiveness of legal frameworks in different regions; codifying scholars' opinions; product innovation; and human capital.
In keeping with the conference title, the overriding focus will be on the links between Islamic and ethical finance. Nik Norishky Thani, DIFC's executive director of Islamic finance, explained: "There is great scope for the non-Muslim world to implement some of the ideals and products that Islamic finance can offer.
"Businesses and individuals around the world are increasingly looking to do good business, both in terms of profit margins but also in terms of business practices that meet ethical standards and fit within corporate social responsibility programmes.
"During the conference, we will look at the opportunities for merging the best of both worlds, as well as capitalising on some of the innovation that is apparent throughout the sector."
Rushdi Siddiqui, Global Director, Dow Jones Islamic Indexes, added: "Although only 40 years old, Islamic finance has gained traction in the global capital markets. Be it a Sukuk issue from America, FSA-approved Islamic banks in the UK or Singapore declaring itself as a hub for Islamic finance, Islamic finance presents a compelling and efficient alternative to all stakeholders of capital."
Ghanim Al Shamsi, Business Development Manager at DIFC said: "DIFC is committed to maintaining the infrastructure growth to provide the best possible environment for Islamic finance businesses to prosper, to enable DIFC to match - or exceed - global growth in this sector."
Speakers for the event already confirmed include:
• Nasser Al Shaali, CEO, Dubai International Financial Centre Authority
• Michael Ainley, Head International Firms Department, Financial Services Authority
• Dr Georges Makhoul, Managing Director Middle East, Morgan Stanley
• Eric Meyer, CEO, Shariah Capital
• Afaq Khan, CEO Islamic Banking, Standard Chartered Bank
• Rushdi Siddiqui, Global Director, Dow Jones Islamic Indexes
• Nik Norishky Thani, Executive Director of Islamic Finance, DIFC
• Hassan Hakimian, Senior Lecturer Islamic Finances, Cass Business School
• Farhan Al Bastaki, Waqf Trust Services
• Geert Bossuyt, Managing Director, Regional Head Middle East structuring, Deutsche Bank
• Dr Humayon Dar, CEO BMB Islamic
• Ahmed Feizal Suleiman Khan, Head International Business, Maybank-Fortis
• Abdul Wahid Al Ulama, Group Chief legal Officer, Dubai World
• Dato' Dr Nik Norzul Thani, lawyer and Islamic scholar
The Islamic and Ethical Finance conference forms part of a number of headline conferences and lectures during DIFCweek, to be held at Dubai International Financial Centre, November 17 - 23. Tickets for Islamic and Ethical Finance are priced at $1995, with discounts available for multiple delegate or event bookings. For more information, go to www.difcweek.ae.
DIFCweek, the first event of its kind in the Middle East, will focus on Financial Opportunities for the Third Millennium. The week of conferences will address every principal topic in the international financial arena.
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