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Kingdom set to strengthen Islamic finance hub status

MANAMA: Bahrain is set to further strengthen its position as the global hub for Islamic finance.

More than 1,200 delegates from 50 countries are to join leaders from the global Islamic finance industry at the 18th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2011) in Bahrain, confirming the kingdom's position as the leading international hub for Islamic finance.

It will be held at Gulf Hotel's Gulf Convention Centre from November 21 to 23.

Announcing the launch of WIBC 2011, World Islamic Banking Conference managing director David McLean said, "The kingdom for many years has played a leading role in the development of the international Islamic finance industry.

"Bahrain has managed to advance its leadership position as the international hub for Islamic finance due its strong fundamentals, pioneering initiatives and world-class regulatory environment, not to mention its continued efforts and initiatives to develop skilled resources and enhance existing ones in different fields of Islamic finance.

"The WIBC has been held in the kingdom for many years and has become synonymous with the success of Islamic banking in Bahrain.

"We are delighted with the tremendous support extended by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to WIBC 2011 and look forward to returning to the kingdom for yet another successful global gathering of the industry's leaders in November."

McLean said, "A global event of the scale of WIBC is an outstanding platform for leading Bahraini institutions to showcase their leadership to the world as the kingdom has many positive growth stories to tell regarding the exceptional development of its financial services industry and significant contribution to its GDP."

The event, which has over the years become the world's largest and most influential annual gathering of Islamic finance leaders, is again being held with the strategic support of the CBB.

Confirming their support, CBB banking supervision executive director Khalid Hamad said, "Bahrain has a long and proud history in supporting the progress of Islamic finance.

"The kingdom continues to play a pioneering role in the advancement of industry standards, best practices and developing a strong regulatory structure.

"We look forward to welcoming back the global stage of the 18th Annual WIBC to the kingdom and to continuing its tradition of supporting growth and innovation in the international Islamic finance industry," he said.

"The past few years were so challenging for Islamic finance but at the same time the future raises several business development potentials and opportunities which we are all looking forward to exploring during the conference," he added. The Asia summit of the World Islamic Banking Conference is being held today and tomorrow in Singapore.



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