Manama,– A pioneering initiative to develop globally-accepted market standards for sukuk (Islamic bonds) has succeeded in garnering the support of Europe-based Islamic and conventional financial institutions.
More than 50 institutions and market experts, based in London and elsewhere in Europe, participated in furthering the Islamic Primary Market project, which is spearheaded by the Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) in alliance with Europe-based International Capital Market Association (ICMA).
The industry views and support for developing primary market benchmarks, standard documentation, language and recommendations for sukuk were deliberated during the ICMA-IIFM seminar organized jointly by the two institutions in London on 18 May 2007.
“We are extremely pleased with the interest we have received from the European financial services industry in developing market standards which will be acceptable across borders,” said Mr. Ijlal Alvi, Chief Executive Officer of the IIFM, an international market development institution focused on the development of the global Islamic capital and money markets.
“Such initiatives are critical for activating sound, effective and truly global Islamic capital and money markets, both primary and secondary.”
The deliberations in London were part of a series of three high-level deliberations aimed at gauging industry opinion on the need for primary and secondary market standards, products and documentations for Sukuk and other Shariah compliant instruments. The London seminar followed a similar event held in Bahrain on 26 April 2007, where the discussion focused on a risk management and regulatory reporting system for institutions and sukuk-related secondary market product, such as the possible development of an Islamic repurchase agreement (Repo).
A final workshop will be held in Bahrain on 18 June 2007 where deliberations will focus on finalizing the Primary and Secondary Markets development initiatives recommended by the participants in the previously-held deliberations in Bahrain and London. These will be further discussed and the projects Working Groups will be finalized.
“As an organization focused on the promotion and development of the global Islamic capital and money markets, the IIFM is following a policy of eliciting market feedback from different geographical areas before embarking on a project of this magnitude,” said Mr. Alvi.
“Engaging the industry is also critical for our ultimate goal of developing market practices, documents and products which will be accepted and followed by Islamic financial institutions all over the world. This certainly is a challenging task and can only be accomplished with the support of all industry participants including Shariah Scholars.”
Truly global Islamic capital and money markets are critical to the growth and advancement of an Islamic financial services industry able to cater to an international client base.
The final Seminar in Bahrain on 18th June will constitute a special session during the 2nd IIFM Conference, which will be held on 18 and 19 June 2007, at the Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel.
The event, being held under the theme “Developing the Global Islamic Financial Markets,” is being organized by the IIFM with the support of joint organizer Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank number of GCC, European and Far Eastern institutions. It is supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and Bahrain Financial Services Development.
The conference will focus on such current issues as Islamic Hedging, Islamic Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS), Islamic Unit Trusts, Islamic Liquidity Management and Inter-bank Market; Primary and Secondary Market Development initiatives such as documentation, best practices, products, recommendation etc.
The event will be officially inaugurated by Mr. Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the CBB, while the Keynote Speaker will include Mr. Wafik Grais, Senior Advisor at the World Bank, Dr. Ahmed Jachi, First Gov (pls complete) and other prominent industry experts
More than 300 delegates from throughout the world are expected to attend the conference, which is complimentary for delegates as the event is an industry building exercise.
International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) was founded with the collective efforts of the central banks and monetary agencies of Bahrain, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sudan and the Islamic Development Bank based in Saudi Arabia, as an infrastructure institution with the mandate to take part in the establishment, development, self-regulation and promotion of Islamic Capital and Money Market.
IIFM’s primary focus lies in the advancement and standardisation of Islamic financial instrument structures, contracts, product development and infrastructure; and the issuance of guidelines and recommendations for the enhancement of Islamic Capital and Money Market globally. In addition, development of the global primary and secondary Islamic capital and short term financial market and the creation of a market for Islamic financial instruments is a key area for IIFM.