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The 3rd Annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit Set to Begin on the 5th of June in Singapore

WIBC: Asia 2012 to gather more than 450 industry leaders for discussions on strengthening international connectivity and capturing cross-border opportunities in the Islamic finance industry

Singapore: 30 May 2012: More than 450 key players and thought leaders in the international Islamic finance industry will be gathering on the 5th and 6th of June 2012 at the Grand Hyatt in Singapore for the 3rd Annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit, which is convened with the support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Speaking ahead of the event, David McLean, Chief Executive of the World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit, said that “Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing segments in the global financial sector, growing at an estimated 15-20% per annum. The Ernst & Young World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2011, which was launched at the 18th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference in Bahrain last November, noted that Islamic banking assets with commercial banks globally will reach US$1.1 trillion in 2012, representing a significant jump of 33% from their 2010 level of US$826 billion.”

He also said that “with various countries now intensifying efforts to develop their respective Islamic financial markets, greater collaboration among these jurisdictions will facilitate cross-border initiatives to strengthen the industry architecture and framework, which will in turn support the further expansion in international product and service offerings.”

Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Executive Director / Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad

A similar view was expressed by Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Executive Director / Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad , who said that “key markets in Asia and the Middle East are now witnessing rapid growth and expansion – and economies in rapid transition need responsive banking and capital markets. Islamic bankers must understand the evolving needs of its end-users, build new capabilities and develop new products and services to support the needs of both mature and new markets. This requires strong integration and economic inter-linkages between the key markets for Islamic finance. Regulatory reforms, governance standards and tax structures need to keep pace with the rapid internationalization of Islamic finance thus enabling greater scope for large-scale cross-border transactions.”

“The annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit is one of those unique platforms which aim to foster greater connectivity between Asia and the Middle East thus providing an opportunity for key industry players in these high-growth markets to develop the capacity to structure large-scale multi-currency and cross-border Shari’ah-compliant transactions. We are once again delighted to be supporting this important event”, he added.

H.E. Ravi Menon, Governor of the Monetary Authority of Singapore

The two day event is set to begin on the 5th of June with an inaugural address by H.E. Ravi Menon, Governor of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The inaugural address will be immediately followed by an opening keynote session featuring H.E. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, President of the Islamic Development Bank; and H.E. Dr. Halim Alamsyah, Deputy Governor, Bank Indonesia.

Commenting on his participation at the event, H.E. Ravi Menon, Governor of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, observed that “WIBC: Asia has become an important bridge connecting Asia and the Middle East to the growing participants of Islamic finance.  Since its launch in 2010, the event has grown in both size and stature. It is a unique gathering for the industry to discuss trends, share experiences and explore opportunities to tap the full potential of Islamic finance.”

A key highlight of WIBC Asia 2012 will be the high profile Power Debate session led by internationally respected CEOs and industry leaders. Moderated by Haslinda Amin of Bloomberg Television, this session will analyze the expanding role of Islamic finance as a conduit for trade and capital flows between Asia and the Middle East and will also discuss how Islamic financial institutions can better develop the capacity to structure large-scale multi-currency and cross border transactions. The Power Debate session will feature Toby O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer, The Islamic Bank of Asia; Hussain AlQemzi; Chief Executive Officer, Noor Islamic Bank and Group Chief Executive Officer, Noor Investment Group; Muzaffar Hisham, Chief Executive Officer, Maybank Islamic Berhad; Dato’ Jamelah Jamaluddin, Chief Executive Officer, Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad (KFH Malaysia); Syed Abdull Aziz Jailani Bin Syed Kechik, Chief Executive Officer, OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad; Shamsun Anwar Hussain, Director – Consumer Banking, CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad; and Wasim Saifi, Global Head, Standard Chartered Saadiq, Consumer Banking.

Muzaffar Hisham, Chief Executive Officer of Maybank Islamic Berhad

Confirming his participation at the event, Muzaffar Hisham, Chief Executive Officer of Maybank Islamic Berhad  said that “the World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit is an excellent platform for industry experts to share the insights, knowledge and expertise of the industry. It is an honor and privileged for Maybank Islamic to be part of WIBC: Asia for the 3rd consecutive year, with the strong support from Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in its commitment for the benefit of the industry within the region.”

For the first time in Asia, WIBC: Asia 2012 will also feature an exclusive pre-conference industry briefing led by the Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Markets (IIFM) on the 4th of June. Speaking ahead of the session, Ijal Alvi, Chief Executive Officer of IIFM said that “with a proven track record as a leading global standardization body for the Islamic Capital and Money Market segment of Islamic Financial Services Industry, the Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) is keen to further strengthen its close relationship with the World Islamic Banking Conference based on several years of working together in the development and progress of Islamic Finance. The IIFM pre-conference briefing has been a part of the annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Global Summit in Bahrain for more than 5 years now and we are extremely delighted to further strengthen this partnership and host the pre-conference briefing for the first time in Singapore at the World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit, which is held under the official support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

He also said that “Islamic banking and finance industry has seen tremendous growth internationally and this indeed reflects its ability to be competitive and respond to the complex needs of businesses internationally. As the industry’s geographic footprint expands, it is becoming increasingly vital to develop more products and appropriate global frameworks in order to overcome the challenges faced by Islamic finance globally. Hence, the 3rd Annual WIBC Asia Summit plays a crucial role in exchanging views and ideas across geographies and we are delighted to work closely with this prestigious event which brings together the world’s most experienced Islamic bankers and expertise from the two key centers for Islamic finance i.e. the Asia and the Middle East”.

The pre-conference industry briefing will be inaugurated by Tai Boon Leong, Executive Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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