Riveting insights unfold at the International Islamic Financial Markets (IIFM) Seminar

The 24th World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) witnessed a stimulating IIFM Industry Seminar on a broad spectrum of issues, centered around achieving sustainable and balanced growth in the Islamic Financial Sector, on the 4th of December at the ART Rotana Hotel, Amwaj Islands, Bahrain.

With a packed audience of 400 delegates, the IIFM Seminar at the 24th World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) saw an insightful opening address by Khalid Hamad Abdul-Rahman Hamad, Chairman, IIFM, who discussed the key initiatives undertaken by the IIFM and decoded his vision for the future of the industry at the regional and global level.

Stressing on the growing need for standardization across the industry, Mr. Hamad said, “IIFM has been at the forefront of developing capital and money market as well as trade finance standards for the Islamic finance industry. Standardization is a must for continued and sustainable growth of Islamic finance. We at the IIFM listen carefully to the industry’s demands when deciding about our focus areas. We follow an elaborate process of extensive market consultation while developing a standard. The rigor of this process ensures the quality of the output when the standard is finalized. The adoption of these standards, however, has been low but increasing. We expect Islamic banks’ leadership as well as regulators to encourage the adoption of these standards in their respective jurisdictions in order to lower their cost of operations and improve efficiency.”

The opening address was followed by an overview of the IIFM standards and its contribution in the development of the Islamic finance industry. The rest of the day ensued with thought-provoking sessions covering the most pressing issues affecting Islamic financial markets like Sukuk market trends and development & FinTech and the role of smart contracts in the context of hedging and financial services.

The seminar concluded with a critical discussion on the role of gold in Islamic finance and products standardization that saw an assessment of the AAOIFI Standards pertaining to gold in Islamic finance, gold-related trading centres and product documentation.