Under the patronage of the Lebanese Central Bank’s governor, Riad Salameh, QInvest, Qatar’s leading Investment Bank, participated in Beirut Islamic Financial Institutions Forum which brought together more than 500 high-level participants from over 20 countries to discuss the challenges facing the Islamic finance industry throughout the world and the potential of its growth in the coming years.
“Our participation in internationally recognized industry related forums expresses QInvest’s commitment to Qatar’s National Vision 2030 through contributing to the development of the Islamic financial services industry in Qatar and across the region” said QInvest’s CEO Shahzad Shahbaz.
“Such efforts are in line with our strategic direction as our team of talented experts share their QInvest’s experience with industry professionals and practitioners aiming to maintain consistent development and face challenges for a solid and sustainable economy” Shahbaz added.
As part of its commitment to further develop the industry in Qatar and the region, QInvest’s participation came through a presentation and discussion panel by the firm’s Head of Legal & Sharia’a Affairs, Mr. Bernard Barbour, who addressed the audience talking about the “Potential Conflicts of Law and Sharia’a” highlighting matters related to the “Enforcement of Islamic Banking contracts under civil law”.
“Beirut Islamic Financial Institutions Forum 2010 is an assembly for well recognized institutions and industry decision makers.
Being Qatar’s leading Investment Bank, we believe in sharing our experience, not only in product development and innovation, but also in issues related to legal consistency, accounting standards and adequate regulatory framework” said Barbour.
With assets estimated at about $950 billion in 2009 and more than 200 institutions around the world, Islamic banks and financial institutions are becoming an emerging force in the banking industry in many countries. Nonetheless, the industry is still in a transitional phase and needs to move into a new development phase to be able to play a larger role in funding growth and economic development around the region and in other Islamic countries.
The Beirut Islamic Financial Institutions Forum 2010 brought together more than 500 high level participants including governors of central banks, other industry regulators, Islamic and commercial banking leaders, fund managers, Sharia’a and legal experts, and consultants from more than 20 countries to share their experience and expertise. Among the forum’s distinguished speakers:
• H.E. Riad Salameh, Governor, Banque Du Liban
• Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman of Dallah Al-Baraka Group, chairman of Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry, chairman of Federation of Gulf Council Chambers of Commerce and Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
• Dr. Mohamad Nedal Alchaar, Secretary – General, AAOIFI, Kingdom of Bahrain
• Mr. Mohammed Al-Omar, Chief Executive Officer, Kuwait Finance house, State of Kuwait
• Dr. Yahia Abdul-Rahman, Chairman and Sharia’a Supervisor LARIBA-Bank of Whittier, United States of America
• Sheikh Nizam Yaquby, QInvest’s Sharia’a Supervisory Board Member and Scholar, Kingdom of Bahrain
• Sheikh Dr. Abdul Satar Abu Ghuddah, QInvest’s Sharia’a Supervisory Board Member and Scholar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
• Mr. Ijlal Alvi, Chief Executive Officer, International Islamic Financial Market, Kingdom of Bahrain
• Mr. Oliver Agha, Managing Partner, Agha & Co, United Arab Emirates
• Mr. Abdulrazzak Elkhraijy, Executive Vice President and Head of the Islamic Banking Development Group, National Commercial Bank, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
• Dr. Mohammed El-Beltagy, Vice Chairman - Shari’a Board, The National Bank for Development, Egypt
• Mr. Bernard Barbour, Head of Legal & Sharia’a Affairs, QInvest, Qatar The first efforts to set up an Islamic financing environment emerged in Pakistan in the late 1950s. However, modern Islamic banking first appeared, on a small scale, in Egypt early in the 1960s. Following the oil boom in the 1970s, Islamic banking flourished in the Arab world and then spread out into the Middle East, Iran, and Southeast Asia. In the mid 1970s, the world’s first fully fledged Islamic bank was established in UAE.
A report issued recently by consultancy firm AT Kearney said assets and deposits of Islamic banks would rise to $1 trillion in 2012, propelled by average annual growth rates between 15 percent and 20 percent.
There are an estimated 450 Islamic banks worldwide. Their asset base has increased to over $700 billion. Forty percent of Islamic banks are based in Arab countries, and the Gulf countries serve as a major center.
AT kearney’s report noted that Gulf Cooperation Countries represented about 90 percent of total assets of Islamic banks in Arab countries. It added that nearly one-half of Islamic banks were in Saudi Arabia, followed by the UAE at 20 percent, Kuwait at 17.4 percent, and Bahrain at 11 percent.
Since the global financial crisis started to unfold in 2008, there have been several reports suggesting that Islamic banks have been less affected by the crisis because they are not allowed – for ethical reasons – to invest in derivatives such as credit default obligations that precipitated the worst crisis the world has seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Lately, QInvest has won the prestigious ‘Sharia Fund of the Year’ award at the Global Investor Future of Capital Markets forum in Dubai demonstrating its strong focus on product innovation along with its joint venture partner ABN AMRO, (previously Fortis Bank Nederland).
Based on a philosophy that “with trust comes sharing, through sharing comes partnership and through partnerships, value is created”, QInvest has created a unique platform with strategic partnerships in the region and beyond. The platform offers a broad range of expertise which enables QInvest to deliver a high value service to clients, seamlessly covering advisory, financing and investment needs. The business lines include investment banking, investment management, brokerage and wealth management; with dedicated origination and placement teams.