Russia and the CIS: Realizing potential and exploring Islamic finance opportunities in a promising new market
Date: 15th March 2016 Venue: Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre, Moscow

Press Release

22nd February 2016

Islamic Finance news CIS and Russia 2016

Gaining traction over the past few years, Russia and the CIS have carried out multiple efforts expressing significant interest in Islamic finance. While Islamic financial activities in Russia have been in the main minimal and sporadic, industry players are of the opinion that the country is ready to embrace Shariah compliant financial instruments with hopes that it will soon enact regulatory changes to spur Islamic finance in Russia.

One step ahead of these developments, IFN this year takes the initiative by hosting its inaugural IFN CIS and Russia forum in Moscow. The comprehensive one-day conference will cover all opportune prospects of Islamic banking and finance in the industry. Kicking off with remarks from Linar Yakupov, the president of both the Islamic Business and Finance Development Fund and the Association of Regional Investment Agencies, the first session will discuss the fundamentals – laying the infrastructure for Islamic finance in Russia and the CIS featuring key figures from the Russian government, the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Al Hilal Bank and the Association of Russian Banks.

The second discourse explores ways and means to broaden financing avenues in Russia and the CIS, hearing views from EY, Eurasian Development Bank, the Association of Regional Banks of Russia and BEST Solutions. This will be followed by a detailed dialogue on key sectors in the region that could be developed through Islamic finance, highlighting alternative funding strategies and cross-border trade finance. For this segment, the conference will witness experienced panelists from market players including Al Galal Group, IDB Group and Vnesheconombank.

Moving into capital market transactions, the second half of the day presents an exciting discussion on applying Sukuk structures and instruments in the Russian context, understanding the Sukuk market and credit risk analysis, using Islamic finance in public-private partnership ventures as well as assessing the potential of alternative assets and its suitability to Shariah compliant financing. The sitting features seasoned professionals from the Kyrgyz Stock Exchange, Eurasian Development Bank, Baker & McKenzie, Moody’s, Emirates NBD Capital and White & Case.

The last confab of the day zooms out providing an aerial view of the banking industry landscape of the CIS and Russia and the inauguration of Islamic banking. It has been estimated that Islamic banking in Russia alone could account for 5% of total market share within the next decade. The final discourse takes a look at the role CIS countries with already established Islamic financial institutions play and the lessons that could be drawn from their experience. It will also gauge if these newly established institutions should be branded as Islamic, alternative, ethical or otherwise.

With a strong turnout from mature market players from across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the forum is truly representative of the growing Islamic finance markets across the continent. Unwavering support from the Russian government and financial regulators as well as a large following of the industry’s key deal-makers, the inaugural IFN CIS & Russia Forum is expected to have a full capacity crowd and a lively discussion from this up-and-coming market.

Speakers confirmed for this event are:

  • Abdutalip Sultanov — President & Chairman of the Board, Kyrgyz Stock Exchange, Kyrgyzstan
  • Ahmed Galal Eldin Ibrahim — Chairman, Al Galal Group
  • Aleksey Kuznetsov — Partner, Head of Corporate Tax Services in CIS, EY
  • Alexandr Kazakov — Head of Structuring, Eurasian Development
  • Alina Vetrova — Vice-President, Association of Regional Banks of Russia, Member of the Board & Head of the Center of the Banking System
  • Behnam Gurbanzade — CEO, BEST Solutions, Azerbaijan
  • Dmitry Dembich — Partner, Baker & McKenzie
  • Dmitry Savelyev — Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets (leader of IF task force)
  • Elena Redko — Analyst, Moody’s Investors Services, Russia
  • Elman  Mekhtiev — Executive Vice-President, Association of Russian Banks
  • Elnur Aliyev — Manager, Corporate & Structured Finance, ITFC, IDB Group
  • Evgeniya Vinokurova — Head of Alternative Finance Division, Vnesheconombank
  • Farmida Bi - Head of Islamic Finance – Europe, Norton Rose Fulbrigh, UK
  • Hitesh Asarpota — Director and Head, Debt Capital Markets, Emirates NBD Capital, UAE
  • Linar Yakupov — President, Islamic Business and Finance Development Fund (IBFD Fund) & President, The Association of Regional Investment Agencies
  • Paul McViety – Legal Director, Head of Islamic Finance, DLA Piper
  • Prasad Abraham — Chief Executive Officer, Al Hilal Bank, Kazakhstan
  • Roustam Vakhitov — Managing Partner, International Tax Associates
  • Sergey Glazyev — Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation
  • S. M. Moniruzzaman — Executive Director, Bangladesh Bank
  • Shibeer Ahmed — Partner, White & Case, UAE
  • Talant Kerimbaev — Chairman of the Association of Islamic Economics, Finance and Industry Development of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan (tbc)
  • Victor Chetverikov — Chief Executive Officer, National Rating Agency
  • Vladislav Zabrodin — Managing partner, Capital Legal Services

For more information, please contact Emerson Dinesh:
+603 2162 7800 ext 43 or email [email protected]

You can also visit:

We look forward to welcoming you to the IFN CIS & RUSSIA Forum 2016!


Islamic Finance news Profile

Islamic Finance news (IFN) is the company’s principal publication. IFN is a digital, subscription-based publication available online and through smartphone and tablet applications. Published weekly, the journal provides exclusive and comprehensive coverage of the global Islamic financial markets through in-house analysis and expert external contributions; in addition to a daily news service, additional quarterly supplements and a variety of special annual issues.

Differentiated by a decade of trusted relationships across the industry, IFN is able to leverage an unrivalled network of contacts and connections to provide unparalleled insight into the issues affecting global Shariah compliant markets: along with in-house analysis, news, interviews, reports, industry and sector data, and much more.

With an archived website containing over 60,000 exclusive reports, the IFN portfolio also hosts a suite of proprietary tools including the industry’s largest interactive terminology glossary, a directory of over 4,000 global Islamic financial institutions and a portal to Islamic Banking Intelligence, the most comprehensive source of segmented Islamic banking financial data.







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