London Conference to Explore Islamic Finance in the Face of Global Financial Crisis

13 Oct 2008

A landmark conference is set to bring together key investors and industry figures to discuss the potential and opportunities presented by Islamic and ethical finance in the current financial crisis. To be held on 28-29 October and organised by the Muslim Council of Britain, the high-level meeting will take place in London and is designed to highlight the capital’s pivotal position as a gateway and beneficiary to Islamic finance and trade.

The size of assets in the Islamic finance industry stands at around $700 billion, according to the Islamic Financial Services Board, an industry body. Standard & Poor’s, a rating agency, thinks that the industry could control $4 trillion of assets.

“In pursuit of its agenda to seek the common good the MCB is bringing together key players from the Islamic finance and trade sector in Muslim countries and the City of London to help build and strengthen partnership in tackling some of the difficulties we face in these turbulent times,” said Dr Mohammed Abdul Bari, the Secretary General of the MCB.

The City of London has been at the forefront of many developments in Shariah-compliant financial products and continues to account for a substantial part of the wholesale Islamic finance syndication market. The City, with its unrivalled expertise in structuring customised financial transactions for a diverse range of clients, retains the lead in developing new and innovative instruments to meet the growing demand for Shari’ah compliant finance. The industry continues to grow at a rate of 15-20% annually,

`Britain is facing major challenges in the face of a global financial crisis. We all have a duty to work towards promoting stability and confidence in place of fear’, said Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Chair of the advisory group for the conference.

As the current financial crisis threatens to usher in a global recession, there is a growing recognition of the need to explore more robust forms of financial intermediation. Islamic finance, with its firm commitment to having asset backing to transactions, offers one such prospect. The time is opportune for the UK to investigate how Islamic finance can help face the challenges posed by the current credit crunch.

`The conference will seek to explore how Islamic finance and trade can play a role in accessing the exceptional liquidity in Muslim countries in Asia and Middle East,’ said Sher Khan, Project Director for Islamic Finance and Trade

Speakers expected at the conference will include:

* Lord Chancellor Secretary of State for Justice Rt. Hon. Jack Straw MP

* Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Financial Scretary, HM Treasury

* Rt Hon Ian Pearson MP, Economic Secretary, HM Treasury

* Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Hj. Mokhtar, Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional
Berhad, Malaysia

* Iqbal Khan, Founding Board Member and CEO, Fajr Capital

* Phelan Hill, Head of Islamic Finance, HM Treasury

* Yaqub Yousuf, CEO, International Holdings

* Eric Meyer, President, CEO and Executive Chairman, Shariah Capital, Inc.

Registration and further details can be found at www.iftc.uk.com

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For press enquiries please contact:

Kaneez Shaid, Press Officer
Tel: 07866318912

Sher Khan, Project Director
Tel: 07885609091

To become a delegate please register on the website. You can also contact:
Tel: 0845 222 2727
Email: delegateinfo@iftc.uk.com

The Conference will offer opportunities to:

• Consolidate trading relationships between the United Kingdom and Muslim Countries
• Cultivate an Islamic investment-friendly environment in the United Kingdom
• Understand and Engage with Muslim businesses & Islamic products
• Network with Government representatives from UK and Muslim countries, Financial Institutions and Business leaders.

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