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Top regulators and international experts to address IFSB Amman Summit on Financial Globalisation and Islamic Financial Services

Jordan: Thursday, February 28 - 2008 @ 09:39

The event is under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah and on the theme ‘Financial Globalisation and Islamic Financial Services’.

The annual IFSB Summit is the single largest concentration of top financial regulators from the IFSB member countries partaking in a major industry-led event. The importance of this 5th Summit cannot be overstated especially in an uncertain international financial climate as underlined by the current global credit crunch.

The Kuala Lumpur-based IFSB, established in November 2002, is the world’s transnational standard-setting organisation whose mandate is to promote and enhance the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry by issuing prudential and supervisory standards and guiding principles for the global Islamic finance industry, broadly defined to include banking, capital markets and insurance sectors.

The Secretary-General of the IFSB, Professor Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, is confident that the global perspectives on Islamic finance presented by the regulators and industry practitioners will contribute to greater understanding of Islamic finance as a viable form of intermediation that promotes the growth of real economic activities together with social justice, as well as highlight the challenges, issues and opportunities in the introduction of Islamic finance in various markets.

Leading the bevy of banking regulators to Amman is Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan and IFSB Chairperson for 2008, as well as the Summit host Dr Umayya Toukan, Governor of Jordan’s central bank.

They will be joined by Rasheed Al-Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain: Dr Tahmasb Mazaheri, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran; Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor Bank Negara Malaysia, Heng Swee Keat, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore; Dr Sabir Mohammed Hassan, Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan; and Dato’ Zarinah Anwar, Chairman of the Securities Commission of Malaysia.

Other confirmed speakers from major international agencies include Stefan Walter, Secretary General, Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the standard-setting body for the global banking system; Ian Ball, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Federation of Accountants; Michael U Klein, Vice President, Finance & Private Sector Development, The World Bank; Eddie Yue, Deputy Chief Executive Director, Hong Kong Monetary Authority; and Tadashi Maeda, Director General, Energy & Natural Resources Finance Department, Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
Sir Howard Davies, Director of the London School of Economics (LSE) will be delivering the Summit’s Gala Dinner Keynote Speech. Sir Howard was the Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, UK (1997-2003), the single regulator for the UK financial sector, which was created under his leadership from nine separate regulatory agencies. He has served in various capacities in the British government services on both the national and international fronts including being the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.

Professor Dr Volker Nienhaus, President of the University of Marburg in Germany, will also address the Summit. Dr Nienhaus was one of the first Western academics involved in serious research into Islamic finance way back in the 1980s and early 1990s. He has published several incisive articles and papers on various aspects of Islamic finance including its impact and potential on resource mobilisation and development.

Private sector participants are led by Nabeel Shoaib, the new Global Head of HSBC Amanah, the Islamic finance division of the HSBC Group; Cesare Calari, Managing Director of Wolfenson & Company and former Vice President of the World Bank; Jamelah Jamaluddin, Chief Executive Officer of RHB Islamic Bank in Malaysia; Charles Proctor, Partner, Bird & Bird, UK; and Peter Burnett, Executive Chairman, Investment Banking Middle East and Co-Head, Investment Banking Asia at UBS AG.

The rapid growth of Islamic finance and the globalisation of Islamic financial products in the last few years beyond the traditional markets in the Muslim world to North America, the UK, Continental Europe, and Asia, has seen a phenomenal interest in Shariah-compliant products both by investors and product providers. This interest has been further fuelled by the estimated US$1.2 trillion of private liquidity in the Middle East countries, an increasing percentage of which is believed to be finding a home in the Islamic finance space.

The IFSB Summit will discuss various timely topics which include: ‘Globalisation of Islamic Financial Services: Opportunities and Challenges’; ‘Cross-border Capital Flows, including the Size and Patterns of such Flows, and the Role of Islamic Capital Markets in Facilitating such Flows’; ‘Key issues in Regional Integration of Islamic Financial Markets, including Islamic Capital Markets – Promotion and the Catalytic Role of Governments’; ‘Standardisation, Harmonisation, Mutual Recognition and Exchange Market Cooperation to Develop National Islamic Capital Markets and their Regional and Global Integration.’; and The Way Forward in Financial Globalisation and Islamic Financial Services.

The IFSB Summit is a must-attend for all those involved and interested in Islamic financial services – government departments and agencies; regulatory authorities, international agencies, market players, investors, end-users, academics, allied services such as rating agencies, law firms, accountants and auditing firms, consultants, and informed lay people.

This is one Summit which anyone involved and interested in Islamic financial services cannot afford to miss. It also offers a unique opportunity to interact with those who are responsible for setting Islamic finance regulatory and supervisory policies in key markets and to network with key practitioners and professionals, and other players!

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Thursday, February 28- 2008 @ 9:39 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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