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Bahrain World Economic Summit discusses Islamic finance in Bahrain

Bahrain: Saturday, October 31 - 2009 @ 12:24

Accordingly, the Bahrain World Economic Summit was held on October 26, 2009 in the Kingdom, and Islamic finance specialist Al-Khabeer International joined the impartial summit to engage the Bahraini business community in constructive debate over critical concerns shaping the future of the country.

The opening session of the Summit was conducted by H.E. Sheikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the Minister of Housing, Kingdom of Bahrain, followed by a speech on behalf of the Bahrain Economic Development Board by H.E. Dr. Faisal Bin Yacoub Al Khamer, Minister of Health, Bahrain.

Andrew Broadley, CEO, Al Khabeer International, shared some interesting insights during the forum:

“The Islamic funds industry in the GCC is alive and well, playing an increasingly important and relevant role in domestic economic and business growth. Although investors in Islamic funds have not been immune to the global crisis, their performance has not gone worse and in many cases has surpassed conventional funds. In fact, around 65% of KSA population voices their willingness to use Shari’a compliant products.”

“There has been a rapid increase in the number of Islamic funds as well as broader choices available for investors. From 210 in 2003, funds rose to 700 in 2009. The AUM (Assets under Management) increased from $20bn in 2003 to $44bn in 2009. These figures reflect corporate annual growth rates of 21% and 13%, respectively. As our markets are expected to remain volatile, we at Al-Khabeer are concentrating our efforts on managing both risks and returns, so that investors can enjoy optimal total return over any economic cycle,” added Broadley.

Islamic funds are concentrated mainly in the GCC, with 13% based in the UAE, 44% in the KSA, and 9% in Kuwait. There are, however, unfinished business in other countries, particularly those with huge Muslim populations such as Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Algeria, and Morocco.

“We believe that the best solution lies in managing funds with a dual focus on both risk and returns. Based on our unique customer-centric strategy, we aim to gain a strong reputation across the GCC Islamic funds market by the end of December 2010,” concluded Broadley.

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Saturday, October 31- 2009 @ 12:24 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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