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Summit to review key Islamic finance issues

MANAMA: More than 480 key players and thought leaders in the international Islamic finance industry will be gathering for a key summit in Singapore.

The fourth annual edition of the World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit (WIBC Asia 2013) will be held from June 3 to 5 at the Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel.

It is being held with the official support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The three-day event, held under the theme "Bridging the World of Islamic Finance: Boosting International Linkages and Cross-Border Opportunities", is set to begin on June 3 with a pre-conference summit hosted by the Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM).

The IIFM industry seminar focusing on Islamic liquidity management, Islamic hedging and capital market instruments will open with an inaugural keynote session featuring IIFM chairman and Central Bank of Bahrain executive director of banking supervision Khalid Hamad along with Monetary Authority of Singapore Development Group assistant managing director Ng Nam Sin.

The inaugural session at the pre-conference summit will be followed by a special keynote address by Bank Indonesia deputy governor Dr Halim Alamsyah.

The main conference, which begins on June 4, will be officially inaugurated by a special address by Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry and Monetary Authority of Singapore deputy chairman Lim Hng Kiang.

The inaugural address will be immediately followed by special keynote addresses from Central Bank of Kuwait governor Dr Mohammad Al Hashel and Securities Commission Malaysia chairman Ranjit Ajit Singh.

"WIBC Asia has grown in both size and stature since its inaugural conference in 2010," said Monetary Authority of Singapore governor Ravi Menon.

"The event is now an important platform connecting the vibrant Islamic finance industries in Asia and the Middle East.

"The conference also reinforces the value proposition of Islamic finance to the wider financial industry in the region," he added.

A key highlight of WIBC Asia 2013 will be the high-profile power debate session led by internationally respected chief executives and industry leaders.

"Though Islamic finance has come a long way, achieving significant growth over the last decade, the overall size of Islamic assets is still less than one per cent of the global financial system and the industry has still to build significant economies of scale," said WIBC Asia 2013 chief executive David McLean.

"Being comparatively young, Islamic finance currently offers fewer product choices for consumers, while isolated pools of Islamic liquidity in each market restrict opportunities for more efficient allocation of capital across international jurisdictions.

"As Islamic finance embarks on its next phase of growth, the industry must overcome these challenges and build scale, reach critical mass and expand its geographic footprint.

"This will require financial institutions, regulators, and international standard setting agencies to work more closely together," Mr McLean added.

The WIBC Asia 2013 Exhibition that runs along the sidelines of the conference will also showcase next generation of Islamic financial products, innovative solutions and the latest developments in the international Islamic banking and finance industry.



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