Innovation & the Future Direction of Islamic Finance in Asia


Date: 26th & 27th May 2014 Venue: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
Conference Guide

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The flagship event of the IFN Forum series, the IFN Asia Forum, has been running since 2006. Now in its ninth year, this two-day event aims to bring together industry experts, issuers and investors from around the world to convene at the largest annual Islamic finance event, focusing on the world’s largest Islamic financial market — Asia. Consistently brimming with opportunities, the IFN Asia Forum is well-known within the industry as an event which provides a salient platform for discussion and invaluable networking opportunities. An occasion where the industry meets and deals are closed.

Asia is currently one of the most active markets in terms of Islamic capital market activity, innovation of products, regulatory developments and government support, and still counts for the majority of the global Shariah compliant activity. Malaysia and Indonesia continue to lead the way, but major economies such as Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Pakistan and Singapore have all embraced Islamic finance and enabled a level playing tax and regulatory field for Sukuk issuances, as well as becoming preferred destinations for investors seeking healthy returns. But the Republic of Turkey, in west Asia, is the current hotspot with its participation banking industry flourishing and building itself an enviable reputation for Sukuk issuance. These and other developing Islamic financial markets such as Brunei, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Philippines will again all feature throughout the IFN Asia Forum.



Presentations & Speeches



Issuers Day

08:00 - 09:00
09:00 - 09:05
Prayer Recital
09:05 - 09:20
Opening Keynote Address
Professor Datuk Dr Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim - Chief Executive Officer, International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation
09:20 - 09:30
Chairperson’s Opening Remarks
Abdulkader Thomas — Chief Executive Officer, SHAPE Financial
09:30 - 10:30
Industry Titans Roundtable: Islamic Finance 2015
We ask global Islamic finance thought leaders to share their vision of what the Islamic finance landscape will look like in 2015. Which markets are likely to lead and which sectors will flourish. What challenges lie ahead for Asia to stay in the game and what needs to happen now to achieve this vision?
Moderator: Mohammad Faiz Azmi - Executive Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Malaysia
Panelists: Badlisyah Abdul Ghani - Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Islamic
Mohammad Kamran Wajid - Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Financial Services & Emirates NBD Capital, United Arab Emirates
Rafe Haneef — Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Amanah, Malaysia
Wasim Akhtar Saifi — Global Head of Islamic Banking, Consumer Banking & Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Saadiq, Malaysia
10:30 - 10:45
Keynote Address
Khaled Mohammed Al-Aboodi - Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, IDB Group
10:45 - 11:15
Coffee & Networking
11:15 - 12:00
Asian Regulatory Roundtable: Driving Growth through Effective Regulatory Environments
Central to the success of Asia’s Sukuk markets are the tireless efforts made by Asian regulators in building enabling regulatory frameworks and promoting governance. As the Islamic finance marketplace evolves so must the standards that govern the industry.
  • What strides have regulators of aspiring Islamic investment destinations made in promoting Islamic finance transactions?
  • What synergies exist between the various Asian Islamic economies and what can be done to strengthen ties?
  • Anticipated impact of regulatory changes in the coming year in the Asian Islamic finance landscape
  • Assessing the introduction of Shariah standards frameworks in Malaysia and the likely impact on capital markets issues
  • Is the setting up of a global Shariah board a viable solution to solving Shariah issues? Is it necessary?
Panelists: Daryl Ho - Head of Market Development Division, Hong Kong Monetary Authority
Basheer Ahmad - Senior Manager, Markets, Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), United Arab Emirates
Nik Norzrul Thani - Chairman, Zaid Ibrahim & Co, Malaysia
Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin - Executive Director, Islamic Capital Market, Securities Commission Malaysia
12:00 - 12:15
Presentation: Will Innovation in Islamic Finance Require a New Business Model?
Jawad Ali - Managing Partner, Middle East Offices, King & Spalding, United Arab Emirates
12:15 - 12:30
Launch of Islamic Banking Intelligence: The First Comprehensive Global Islamic Banking Database and Analytical Business Intelligence Dashboard
  Omid Torabi - Managing Director, Innovation & Development Corp
Marjan Naseri - Senior Islamic Banking Expert, Innovation & Development Corp
12:30 - 14:00
14:00 - 15:00
Sukuk and the Asian Islamic Capital Market: The Challenge to Innovate
The call to innovate has been consistently echoed by industry players with the lack of market depth and breadth and its reliance on replicating conventional products often blamed for the innovation deficiency.
  • Is it time for the Islamic finance industry to transform its business model?
  • Is there truly customer demand for innovative Islamic finance products?
  • Addressing the over-reliance on Sukuk: What else is out there?
  • Connecting Shariah compliance with real innovation
  • Will Basel III requirements drive innovative structuring?
  • Building the infrastructure to support large scale, cross border and multi-jurisdictional deals
  • New and innovative offerings and asset classes in the pipeline
Panelists: Alhami Mohd Abdan - Head, International Finance & Capital Market, OCBC Al-Amin Bank, Malaysia
Issam Al Tawari - Chairman & Managing Director, Rasameel Structured Finance Company, Kuwait
Khalid Howladar - Global Head, Islamic Finance, Moody’s Investor Service, United Arab Emirates
Madzlan Hussain - Partner and Head, Islamic Financial Services Practice, Zaid Ibrahim & Co, Malaysia
Mohd Effendi Abdullah - Director/Head, Islamic Markets, AmInvestment Bank, Malaysia
15:00 - 15:45
IFN Asia Issuers Roundtable
We invite the region’s most successful issuers to discuss key trends, features and success factors of their most prominent deals. Why did they choose to raise funds Islamically? What drove the success of the issuances and what made these deals unique? In hindsight, what would these issuers have done differently?
  • Cagamas RM4.2 billion Sukuk Commodity Murabahah
  • Khazanah Nasional SG$600 million convertible Sukuk
  • FWU Group US$100 million Sukuk Wakalah
Panelists: Mohd Izani Ghani - Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer, Khazanah Nasional, Malaysia
Rafiza Ghazali - Chief Financial Officer, Cagamas, Malaysia
Sohail Jaffer - Deputy CEO, FWU Global Takaful Solutions, United Arab Emirates
15:45 - 16:15
Coffee Break
16:15 - 17:00
Enabling Growth: Resolving Key Regulatory, Risk and Shariah Issues Facing the Industry
  • Can new regulations actually address the higher cost of Islamic finance transactions?
  • Tradability of Sukuk: The question of Shariah compliance
  • Addressing the management of risks and provision of liquidity to Islamic finance institutions
  • Evolving from a risk transfer to a risk sharing model in the Basel III environment: Are current products staying true to the risk sharing model?
  • Raising capital in accordance with Basel III and other regulations: The challenge for financial institutions
  • The pan Asian Sukuk debate : Discussing opposing viewpoints on Shariah compliance
  • Legal and tax considerations in advancing Islamic finance— what emerging concerns must be addressed today
Panelists: Andri Aidham Badri - Partner, Kadir Andri & Partners, Malaysia
Mohd Nazri Chik - General Manager & Head of Shariah, Bank Islam Malaysia
Nicholas Edmondes - Partner, Trowers & Hamlins, United Kingdom
Sabir Ahmed - Regional Head of Islamic Origination, South East Asia, Standard Chartered Bank
Uzma Ashraf - Deputy Commissioner, Federal Board of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Pakistan & Fellow, Asian Institute of International Financial Law, Hong Kong
17:00 - 17:10
Chairperson’s Closing Remarks

Investors Day

08:00 - 09:00
09:00 - 09:10
Keynote Address
09:10 - 09:25
Opening Remarks from the Chair
Abdulkader Thomas — Chief Executive Officer, SHAPE Financial
09:25 - 10:25
Investment Titans: The Islamic Investment Strategy: A Five Year Plan
Global Islamic investment leaders are asked to share their views on what Asian investors can expect from the Islamic investment environment in the next five years. Which investment vehicles are expected to thrive and which would have run their course? Are forays into emerging markets worth the risk and how should these be assessed? How are fund managers adapting their strategy to prevailing political and economic conditions in Asia?
Panelists: Maznah Mahbob - Chief Executive Officer, AmInvest, Malaysia
Nicholas Kaiser - Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Saturna Capital, USA
Nor Rejina Rahim — Country Head — Malaysia, Nomura Asset Management
Sandeep Singh - Country Head - Malaysia & Chief Executive Officer, Franklin Templeton GSC Asset Management
10:25 - 11:00
Coffee & Networking
11:00 - 12:00
Investors Roundtable: Shifting Trends and Winning Strategies
  • Outlook for offshore Sukuk and offshore Islamic funds: New markets, new players
  • The case for government-linked investments and infrastructure funds: Outlook for Asian PPPs
  • Islamic private equity and venture capital funds: What infrastructure is necessary for Asia to catch up to the Middle East?
  • What is inhibiting the growth of Islamic ETFs and index-linked investments?
Moderator: Noripah Kamso - Former Advisor, CIMB Islamic, Malaysia
Panelists: Ahmad Nazim Abdul Rahman - Group Chief Executive Officer, Pelaburan Mara, Malaysia
Alka Banerjee - Managing Director of Global Equity & Strategy, S&P Dow Jones Indices, USA
Mahdzir Othman - Chief Executive Officer, i-VCap Management, Malaysia
Mushthaq Ahmad Ibrahim - Chief Executive Officer, KFH Asset Management, Malaysia
Ritjana Ceveli - Managing Director of Asset Management & Advisory, Ridge Capital, United Arab Emirates
12:00 - 12:20
Presentation - What Initiatives Exist to Develop Talent and Human Capital in the Islamic Finance Services
Dr Amat Taap Manshor - Chief Executive Officer, Finance Accreditation Agency, Malaysia
12:20 - 13:35
13:35 - 14:35
Islamic Investments and Funds in Asia: Developing Growth in Key Sectors and New Asset Classes
Investment experts and advisors offer their perspectives on potential growth sectors in the Islamic investment universe. Which classes and sectors will deliver and what is hindering the development of others?
  • How will Asia compete with the UK and the GCC in the Shariah compliant real estate space?
  • Closing the gap between high demand and low supply of Islamic wealth management products
  • Can the development of Waqf serve as a catalyst for driving growth in Islamic wealth management?
  • Is the Islamic investment industry going into regulatory overdrive or is more regulation actually necessary?
  • Improving the distribution of Islamic funds by using passporting options
  • Which elements are crucial when choosing the right fund domicile or investment vehicle?
Panelists: Bishr Shiblaq - Head, Dubai Representative Office, Arendt & Medernach, United Arab Emirates
Jamaluddin Nor Mohamad - Director of Islamic and Alternative Markets, Bursa Malaysia
Monem Salam - President, Saturna Malaysia
Richard Thomas - Chief Representative-Malaysia, Gatehouse Bank
14:35 - 15:20
Advancing Asia’s Takaful Industry
We invite CEOs of leading Takaful companies to share their strategies and views on growth opportunities and challenges that exist in the Asian Takaful market. What regulatory impediments must be overcome to achieve further expansion? What investment options are available to Takaful players? What is the outlook for sustainable growth in an increasingly competitive landscape?
Moderator: Sohail Jaffer - Deputy CEO, FWU Global Takaful Solutions, Dubai
Panelists: Albert Wiseman Paterson - President Director, Sun Life Financial Indonesia
Azim Mithani - Chief Executive Officer, Prudential BSN Takaful
Zainudin Ishak — Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Amanah Takaful
15:20 - 15:50
Coffee and Networking
15:50 - 16:35
Developments in the Islamic Interbank and Wholesale Lending Market
Treasury heads and advisors offer their perspectives on what’s driving growth in the interbank market. What is the outlook for Islamic treasury and liquidity management products? Can other Shariah compliant structures challenge the dominance of Commodity Murabahah and how will this affect interbank market transactions? What needs to be done to meet Basel III standards on liquidity management?
Panelists: Cassim Docrat - Director, DDCAP(DIFC), United Arab Emirates
Idham Sabki - Head of Global Islamic Markets, Hong Leong Islamic Bank, Malaysia
Tom Guest - Associate Director, Eiger Trading Advisors, United Kingdom
16:35 - 16:45
Chairperson’s Closing Remarks


Photo Gallery

IFN Asia Forum 2014: Day 1

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IFN Asia Forum 2014: Day 2

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