Islamic Finance in Europe: Regulatory Advancements, Growth Potential and Investment Opportunities

Date: 26th June 2014 Venue: DoubleTree by Hilton, Luxembourg



08:00 - 09:00
09:00 - 09:05
Opening Remarks
09:05 - 09:20
Opening Keynote Address
Pierre Gramegna - Minister of Finance, Luxembourg
09:20 - 09:35
Keynote Address
Robert Scharfe - Chief Executive Officer, Luxembourg Stock Exchange
09:35 - 10:25
Keynote Panel Session: What is Europe’s Islamic Investment Strategy?
With increased regulatory efforts in major European financial markets, growing interest from Eastern Europe and the CIS region and a heightened awareness of socially responsible investing across the continent, what will Europe’s Islamic finance landscape look like in the coming year? Which markets are likely to lead and which sectors will flourish? How can regulatory optimism be converted into actual market activity?
  • What can be done to attract conventional issuers and fund managers to Europe’s Islamic finance offerings
  • Discussing recent and anticipated Islamic capital market transactions in Europe
  • How global investment trends will shape Europe’s Islamic funds and asset management industry
  • Filling the gap in conventional finance with Shariah compliant cross border trade finance products
  • Outlook for project finance opportunities in Europe: Infrastructure and PPE, renewable energy, LNG
Moderator: Stella Cox - Managing Director, DDCAP Group, United Kingdom
Panelists: Badlisyah Abdul Ghani - Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Islamic, Malaysia
Harris Irfan - Managing Director, European Islamic Investment Bank, United Kingdom
Jonathan Grosvenor - General Manager, Global Financial Markets, KBL European Private Bankers, Luxembourg
Rachid Ouaich - Managing Director, eethiq Advisors, Luxembourg
10:25 - 10:55
Networking Break
10:55 - 11:35
European Transaction Roundtable: Discussing Key Success Factors of Europe’s Prominent Deals
We invite the region’s most successful issuers to discuss key trends, features and success factors of the year's 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?
  • AK BARS US$100 million Commodity Murabaha
Moderator: Professor Dr Volker Nienhaus - Visiting Professor, Henley Business School, University of Reading, United Kingdom
Panelists: Ilya Velder - Managing Director, International Banking, AK BARS Bank
Tatiana Kovalenko - Vice President, Corporate & Investment Banking, Citi Russia
  • FWU Group US$100 million Sukuk Wakalah
Moderator: Professor Dr Volker Nienhaus - Visiting Professor, Henley Business School, University of Reading, United Kingdom
Panelists: Ayman A. Khaleq - Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Dr Markus E Fischer - Member of the Executive Board, Finances, FWU Group
11:35 - 11:50
Keynote Address
Jaseem Ahmed - Secretary General, Islamic Financial Services Board
11:50 - 12:05
Findings of The Luxembourg Dialogue Ashraf Ammar - Senior Manager, Deloitte
12:05 - 12:25
Presentation: A Regulatory & Tax Framework Review in Key European Markets
Ashraf Ammar - Senior Manager, Deloitte
12:25 - 13:30
13:30 - 14:15
Enabling Regulations: Developing the Legal, Tax and Regulatory Landscape for Islamic Finance in Europe
As the market develops, various European jurisdictions are now emerging as specialists in specific sectors aided by regulations to support their growth. The UK has positioned itself as a prominent real estate center, Turkey as a hub for Sukuk while Luxembourg and Ireland are becoming renowned centers for Islamic funds. We ask legal, tax and regulatory specialists to offer their opinion on the vast and varied regulations driving Islamic investments in key European Islamic finance markets and the value proposition each market offers potential investors.
Moderator: Neil Miller - Global Head of Islamic Finance, Linklaters
Panelist: Abradat Kamalpour - Partner, Ashurst, United Kingdom
Alain Pithon - Secretary General, Paris Europlace, France
Sufian Bataineh - Counsel, OPF Partners, Luxembourg
Valentine Baudouin - Associate, Kramer Levin, France

Breakout Session: Open for Registration

14:30 - 15:15
Islamic Finance and Global Food Security

Panel Discussion: Global Food Security: What Role can Islamic Finance Play in Developing the Halal Food and Agribusiness Sectors
  • Understanding the economics of funding global food security: Current state of play and challenges ahead
  • Discussing the deployment of resources needed to address the global food security issue: research, technology transfer and capacity building
  • Access to funding: Ensuring that the Halal agribusiness and food sectors are funded on ethical and sustainable investment principles
  • Can the establishment of an Islamic trust (Waqf) make a meaningful difference in alleviating the challenges faced in addressing food security
  • Multilateral help: How can multilateral agencies contribute to the development of the industry
Panelists: Abradat Kamalpour - Partner, Ashurst, United Kingdom
Catherine Woo – Investment Director, UK & Europe, State Government of Victoria, Australia
Massoud Janekeh - Head of Islamic Capital Markets, Bank of London and The Middle East, United Kingdom
Torsten Böhler - Managing Director, Abacus Emerging Markets, United Kingdom

There are limited seats at this breakout session. To reserve a seat please email

Closed Door Event, By Invitation Only

14:00 - 15:30
CIMB Roundtable
14:15 - 15:00
Advancing Europe’s Sustainable Growth in Islamic Finance: A View from Key European Markets
With political will, regulatory support and stakeholder commitment successfully instituted, Europe appears well positioned to become a leading Islamic investment hub. Will these elements ensure the continent’s success? We ask global Islamic finance thought leaders to weigh in on the following:
  • Assessing the potential of key European markets as Islamic investment destinations
  • Which emerging markets, asset classes and sectors are of interest and why
  • Sovereign, quasi-sovereign and corporate Sukuk issuances - what’s in the pipeline?
  • Can the Asian and Middle East business models be successfully replicated in Europe?
  • What are the challenges and potential risks that lie ahead?
Moderator: Anouar Hassoune - Economist and Strategist for MENA, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, United Arab Emirates
Panelists: David Testa - Chief Executive Officer, Armila Capital, United Kingdom
John A Sandwick - General Manager, Safa Investment Services, Switzerland
Noel Lourdes - Executive Director, Amanie Advisors, Ireland
15:00 - 15:15
Presentation: Luxembourg’s Role in Building a Sustainable Islamic Investment Hub in Europe
Pierre Oberle - Business Development Manager, Association of the Luxembourg Funds Industry (ALFI)
15:15 - 16:00
Islamic Investments and Funds in Europe: Shifting Trends and Winning Strategies
Investment experts and advisors offer their perspectives on potential growth sectors in the Islamic investment universe. What Shariah compliant investment instruments are available in Europe? Which classes and sectors will deliver and what is hindering the development of others?
  • Tying Shariah compliance to ESG and socially responsible investments: EUSEF, SIIF
  • Potential for Islamic wealth management products in emerging European markets
  • Outlook for equity funds, PE funds, i-ETFs, real estate funds and index-linked investments
  • Creating a market for Shariah compliant pension products
Moderator: Dr Dominic Selwood - General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer, Arabesque Asset Management
Panelists: Bishr Shiblaq - Head, Dubai Representative Office, Arendt & Medernach, Dubai
Lutfije Aktan - Director, Audit, Asset Management, KPMG Luxembourg
Dr Mahnoosh Mirghaemi - Managing Director, GlobIQ, Switzerland
Nicolas Limbourg - Chief Executive Officer, Vitis Life, Luxembourg
16:00 - 16:45
Attracting Foreign Investment: Key Sectors and Asset Classes
  • Opportunities for investment in Europe’s Halal food, fashion and tourism sectors
  • Product innovation and opportunities in the Islamic real estate sector: Real estate-backed Sukuk, UK’s residential property sector, opportunities in emerging European markets
  • Creating a cross border distribution strategy for funds products and government Sukuk
Moderator: Massoud Janekeh - Head of Islamic Capital Markets, Bank of London and The Middle East, United Kingdom
Panelists: Kader Merbouh - Special Advisor on Islamic Finance, Paris Europlace, France
Marcus Peter - Partner, Bonn & Schmitt, Luxembourg
Paul Devonshire - Director, Pramerica Real Estate Investors, Germany
Stefano Padovani - Partner, NCTM, Italy
16:45 - 16:50
Closing Remarks
16:50 - 17:15
Coffee & Networking