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Bahrain : Islamic finance to be probed at major forum


Islamic finance issues will be probed at a major conference in Bahrain next week, a report said.

Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) will host the AAOIFI-World Bank Annual Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

Organised in partnership with the World Bank, the conference is being held under the auspices of the Central Bank of Bahrain on Monday and Tuesday.

Discussions at the conference will be on issues relating to development and adoption of international accounting standards for Islamic finance, dynamics of auditing and risks, incorporation of Sharia principles in legal documentation, further innovation on Takaful operations and products, and continuing development of Islamic venture capital.

The conference is part of AAOIFI’s on-going consultative process with the international Islamic finance industry on the development and review of its standards on Sharia, accounting, auditing, ethics and governance.

“It is critical that the standards must be able to give solid support for the industry to achieve further growth,” AAOIFI secretary-general and chief executive Dr Khaled Al Fakih said.

“This naturally calls for AAOIFI to make sure that the standards can be properly applied and that they reflect the continuing evolution of the industry.

“At the conference, we hope to discuss with the industry on ways to improve harmonisation of international Islamic finance practices, including on financial reporting and auditing.

“We also hope to discuss the current work that we are doing in reviewing some of our existing standards, including those on Takaful and investment management,” he added.

A number of research papers will be presented and discussed at the conference by eminent Sharia scholars, senior representatives from central banks and regulatory authorities, members of AAOIFI Sharia Board as well as AAOIFI Accounting and Auditing Standards Board, and leading Islamic finance practitioners.

The conference will also be attended by senior representatives of Islamic financial institutions, accounting and auditing firms, legal firms, universities and higher learning institutions, and media, from across the world.

Following the conference, the AAOIFI will also be holding training courses for its Certified Sharia Adviser and Auditor (CSAA) and Certified Islamic Professional Accountant (CIPA) professional development programmes from November 20 to 23.

CSAA and CIPA are designed for Islamic finance professionals to gain technical understanding and assist application of AAOIFI standards in Islamic finance operations.

AAOIFI has issued a total of 88 standards for the international Islamic finance industry in the areas of accounting, auditing, ethics, governance and Sharia.

The standards have introduced a progressive degree of harmonisation of global Islamic finance practices.

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