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Governments 'must issue more sukuk'

MANAMA: Regional governments need to issue more sukuk in order to provide short-term liquidity instruments that Islamic finance needs.

That was the claim by Kuwait Finance House-Bahrain (KFH-Bahrain) managing director and chief executive officer Abdulhakeem Alkhayyat on the sidelines of the AAOFI conference yesterday.

The Islamic finance industry desperately needs more short-term liquidity but we cannot look to the private sector to provide this in the region," he said.

"Most corporates in the GCC have sufficient liquidity and have no need to raise money through Islamic bonds so it falls on governments to raise cash if they are to provide the necessary sukuk to allow Islamic financial institutions to hold these instruments."

KFH-Bahrain is the platinum sponsor of the AAOIFI-World Bank Annual Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance 2011, currently being held at the Crowne Plaza.

The conference is organised by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) in partnership with the World Bank and under the auspices of Central Bank of Bahrain.

"With an impressive track record of more than 40 years and the first in the region to establish a finance industry, Bahrain continues to adopt a pioneering role in Islamic finance, helping to drive forward the concepts, rules and standards of Sharia compliance," said Mr Alkhayyat.

"The kingdom has the largest concentration of Islamic banking entities in the world and conferences such as this will help to maintain its leading role and position.

"KFH-Bahrain is committed to supporting such important conferences that enrich the field of Islamic banking through the discussion of topics related to the industry.

"The conference provides a central forum to debate various key issues among participants and specialists from Islamic banks and financial institutions," he said.

The AAOIFI-World Bank Conference is specifically designed to give the international Islamic finance industry the collaborative platform to consider the emerging requirements and needs of Islamic financial institutions around the world and address issues that have arisen as the Islamic banking sector has steadily grown.

Topics being addressed during the conference include, challenges in applying international financial reporting standards for Islamic finance, inevitability of existence of Sharia supervisory boards in Islamic financial institutions and the potential of real estate investment trusts in Islamic finance.



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