Complex Made Simple

BIBF and AAOIFI highlight new global Islamic finance standards and future of the industry

BIBF and Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) hosted a lively discussion on new Sharia Standards and Bahrain’s position as a global leader in Islamic Finance on Wednesday (June 11) at the BIBF premises in Juffair.

Panelists for the event included Mr. Khalid Hamad, Executive Director – Banking Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain, Mr. Khairul Nizam, Deputy Secretary General of AAOIFI, Mr. Hani Redha, Head of Centre for Islamic Finance at BIBF, and Shaikh Esaam Eshaq, BIBF faculty member and member of the Standards Auditing Committee at AAOIFI.

Discussions centred around the international Islamic finance market, Bahrain’s position on the global playing field, and BIBF’s role in serving the growing demand for Islamic Finance professionals and its vision for spearheading the development of the industry.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Hamad noted, “The Islamic finance industry has achieved critical mass and is now truly global. The growth of the industry is expected to remain higher than other segments of the global financial sector, supported by very favourable demographics. Bahrain is strongly positioned at the forefront, establishing world-class regulation of Islamic financial services.”

“In order to support the growth of the international Islamic finance industry, the standards development process must be robust and accompanied by effective consultation with the industry and esteemed Sharia scholars. With BIBF’s support, AAOIFI is committed to developing and issuing high-quality standards, and sharing this knowledge and expertise with our global partners,” said Mr. Nizam.

According to a paper presented by the BIBF at the UK-Bahrain Islamic Finance Summit in April 2014, the total asset valuation of the Islamic finance sector reached an estimated $1.35 trillion in 2012. The industry’s growth, which is around 15% per year, will create an estimated 250,000 to one million professional Islamic finance jobs worldwide by 2020.

“The new AAOIFI standards were set in place to enhance standardisation and harmony in accounting for Islamic financial transactions. Not only does this standardisation create trust and confidence in Islamic institutions and the industry as a whole, but also encourages trade and investment, benefiting the local, regional, and global economy”, added Shaikh Eshaq.

To meet the rising demand and help professionals gain a better understanding of the new standards, BIBF is conducting a training course from June 24 – 26. The course will seeks to clarify the applications of the new standards in common Islamic banking tools, as well as explaining their legal implications.

“BIBF boasts the most robust range of Islamic finance training and educational offerings in the world, and is the content provider of choice for global institutions, including professional associations and leading universities. As such, BIBF continues to play a critical role in the development of human capacity for the Islamic finance industry, with a focus on a practitioner’s perspective that enables Islamic financial institutions to achieve their growth potential,” said Mr. Redha.