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Press Releases

Seminar on Islamic Finance

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) jointly organised the Seminar on Islamic Finance held today (Tuesday) to promote discussion of the development of an Islamic financial platform in Hong Kong.

The seminar was well attended by over 280 delegates including representatives from central banks, financial regulators, prominent commercial bankers, market professionals and legal practitioners from Hong Kong and the region, and delegates from countries outside the region including Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and countries in Europe.

The Chief Executive of the HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam, said, "The importance of Islamic finance is rising in the global financial market. As an international financial centre, Hong Kong is stepping up its efforts to promote its financial services to major Islamic countries and regions, and developing an Islamic bond market. The HKMA is very happy to work with the IFSB to organise this seminar. It has provided an excellent opportunity for Hong Kong to understand more about the characteristics of Islamic finance."

The Secretary-General of the IFSB, Professor Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, said, "The IFSB hopes that the global perspectives on Islamic finance presented by the regulators and industry practitioners in the Seminar will contribute to greater understanding of Islamic finance as a viable form of intermediation that promotes the growth of real economic activities together with social justice, as well as highlight the challenges, issues and opportunities in the introduction of Islamic finance in Hong Kong."

He added that the IFSB, as an international organisation mandated to develop prudential standards for Islamic finance has, to date, issued five standards covering issues related to capital adequacy, risk management, corporate governance, supervisory review processes and transparency and market discipline. In broad terms, these five standards, taken together, may be viewed as the equivalent of the three pillars of Basel II for the Islamic financial services industry. They aim to assist the regulatory and supervisory authorities as well as market players to address the specificities of risks in Islamic finance in order to ensure the soundness and stability of the system in which the industry operates.

Professor Rifaat delivered the opening remarks for the seminar, Her Excellency Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia) delivered the opening and keynote address and the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, Mr John C Tsang, delivered the welcoming and keynote address.

On the first of the one-and-a-half day seminar, speakers with a wide background and experience in the Islamic financial field examined the opportunities and challenges facing the Islamic financial services industry. They discussed the operational and business structural issues for institutions wishing to establish an Islamic financial services unit and the convergence of the Islamic financial services industry with the mainstream financial services industry.

The seminar will continue tomorrow at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, 56/F, Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong.

For further enquiries, please contact:
Hong Kong Monetary Authority - www.hkma.gov.hk
Peggy Lo, Manager (Press), at 2878 1687 or
Hing-fung Wong, Officer (Press), at (852) 2878 1802

IFSB - www.ifsb.org
Mr. Mohd Suapi Shaffaii - suapi@ifsb.org / + 603 2698 4248 ext: 113
Ms. Siham Ismail - siham@ifsb.org / +603 2698 4248 ext: 119

15 January 2008

Last revision date: 1 August 2011
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