IIFM Seminar on Islamic Financial Markets held in Dubai

Thursday 21 May 2015, Dubai, UAE – The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) held a specialized seminar on Islamic financial markets on the sidelines of its board meeting in Dubai. The seminar was hosted by Natixis Dubai Branch, whose Islamic finance platform offers expertise to all CIB business lines across EMEA, Asia and the Americas through a regulated Islamic window in DIFC, Dubai. More than 100 representatives from regulatory bodies, banks, exchanges, universities, law and advisory firms from the UAE and the region participated in the event.

Mr. Simon Eedle, Managing Director & Group Regional Head for Natixis Middle East during his speech welcomed the IIFM board of directors, speakers and delegates and congratulated IIFM on the progress made in the area of standardization and its positive contribution to the industry.

Mr. Khalid Hamad, the IIFM Chairman in his opening remarks touched on harmonization of Islamic financial contracts and product structures being crucial for the development of the industry. He said that Islamic financial institutions are now benefiting from IIFM six published standard agreements while further value addition will be achieved once IIFM several under development standard agreements are published. He also said that there is a tremendous cost saving incentive to users of IIFM standards”.

In his keynote address, Mr. Abdulla Al Awar, chief executive of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre said, “At DIEDC, we believe there is a pressing need to remove the ambiguity surrounding Shari’ah standards and we are putting efforts in initiatives that support the harmonization of standards in the Islamic finance industry.”

“In order to protect the rights of various parties especially in cross border Islamic transactions, legal and regulatory framework needs to be developed in various countries along with standardization of documentation”, commented Mr. Abdulrazak Elkhraijy, Executive Vice President and Head of Shariah Group at the National Commercial Bank based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in his special address.

Mr. Elkhraijy also called upon the industry to ensure better coordination among themselves, recognize the growing needs of customers in the fast changing world and develop innovative products that fulfill their needs. This obviously necessitates enhancement of skill levels of industry practitioners and Shariah scholars through specialized training and awareness sessions.

The pragmatically focused executive briefing was led by a number of experienced and respected industry practitioners who assembled from various jurisdictions to provide valuable insight into the key elements of the Sukuk market, Islamic hedging/risk mitigation, liquidity management alternatives and Islamic on-exchange products. The seminar also provided more awareness and better understanding of IIFM standard agreements and its benefits.

The chief executive of IIFM, Mr. Ijlal Alvi stressed on the need for high standards of disclosure, transparency and governance to ensure sufficient level of investor confidence that will lead to a robust and credible Islamic financial services industry.

One of the key take-away from the seminar was that the Islamic finance industry needed to support IIFM efforts in developing standardized financial contracts and product templates in the area of Islamic Capital & Money Market, Corporate Finance and Trade Finance.