74
days to go
Date: 5th December 2018 Venue: The Regency, Kuwait

Kuwait, an important market for Islamic finance with a long-standing commitment to Islamic banking and finance, is poised to have a growing Shariah finance industry with recent market developments.

Progress in the past year in Kuwait has paved the way for its growth as a pioneer in the Islamic finance industry. The latest, and potentially groundbreaking, development in the State of Kuwait is the amendment of the Public Debt Law. The draft law, which is expected to be passed in early 2018, would potentially signal the nation’s first sovereign Sukuk. Kuwaiti investors have also been recognized for their active momentum not only in the GCC, but also in the US and Europe.

Kuwait continues to be a hot destination for investors in the debt capital markets, with the Kuwaiti bourse being mulled for inclusion in the FTSE Emerging Markets Index. The move, if approved, is expected to encourage the flow of foreign investments into the Kuwaiti capital market. Investors and industry participants are keen on the Kuwaiti Islamic finance story, and the authorities have been a strong force in effectively advancing the industry and turning Kuwait into a contender among its peers in the Gulf region.

2018 will see IFN Kuwait Forum returning to Kuwait City, building on the previous successes and with the support of both local regulators and international participants to explore and encourage Shariah compliant investment opportunities into the country.

 

Agenda

09:15 – 09:20 Welcome Remarks
09:20 – 09:30 Welcome Address
09:30 – 10:30 Mega Trends: Domestic and Global Influencers for Kuwait
We discuss key issues relevant to the economic development of Kuwait and the growth of Islamic banking and finance. We examine the Kuwaiti financial markets with a focus on geopolitical and financial risks and financial regulation. We discuss the growth and evolution of Islamic banking in the country and analyze competition and consolidation within the industry. We also assess Kuwait Vision 2035 and the relaxation of restrictions on foreign direct investment in the Emirate, particularly in relation to infrastructure finance, real estate and financial services.
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 – 11:45 Capital Markets Innovation, Sukuk Issuance & Infrastructure Finance in Kuwait 
We look at innovation in Kuwaiti capital markets and identify where Shariah compliant products can add value and what role they can play. We discuss recent regulatory developments for Sukuk and assess current market trends: will recent significant issuance by financial institutions continue? We also examine the role of infrastructure finance and investment in Kuwait and ask what models could feasibly be imported from other countries and what lessons could be learnt? Do Public-Private Partnerships offer a viable model? 
11:45 – 12:30 Asset Management in Kuwait
We ask what is next for the Kuwaiti asset management industry and look at recent product innovations, particularly Real Estate Investment Trusts and Exchange Traded Funds. What will inclusion in the FTSE Russell index mean for Kuwait’s capital markets and asset management sectors? We also discuss the importance of direct real estate investment in Kuwait and the discuss the role of the region’s Shariah compliant real estate investors.
12:30 – 13:00 FinTech Huddle
We discuss the role of FinTech, digital platforms and tokenization in today's financial industry in Kuwait. What do the development of smart contracts, Blockchains and artificial intelligence mean for Islamic banking in the region? We assess the latest developments in FinTech and analyse likely industry shifts, regulation and developments in product and delivery channels.