LONDON, Being the Only Alternative to the Existing System of Finance, the Challenges to Widespread Adoption of Islamic Finance are Many, but Experts at the Summit Showed the Way Forward
Islamic finance may have emerged as an alternative following the financial crisis of 2007-08, but it is only now beginning to deliver on the promise it showed.
This year has been a landmark one in Europe for sovereign sukuk. The UK’s issue was for £200mn and attracted orders of over £2bn from investors. The Grand Duchy issued the first sovereign sukuk in Euros from a national government. It was €200mn and was over-subscribed by two-and-a-half times. These have sent a clear message that the UK and others in Europe are open to Islamic finance. Thus, the excitement at the EU Islamic Finance and Banking Summit, organised by International Finance Magazine in London onNovember 18-19, was palpable.
Representatives of institutions in UK, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Turkey, GCC and other nations shared their experience with Islamic Finance. Being the only alternative to the existing system of finance, the challenges to widespread adoption of Islamic finance are many, but experts cleared many of the doubts of the delegates at the summit, which was held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower.
The summit was chaired by Sheikh Bilal Khan, Catalyst at UKTI and Co-Chairman of Dome Advisory. The highlight was a special address by Lord Sheikh, Baron Sheikh of Cornhill, House of Lords, which was both informative and witty. The guest of honour was SirDavid Wootton, Lord Mayor of London (2012), who addressed the delegates.
IFM launched its inaugural quarterly magazine at the summit on November 18, 2014. Basant Das, Head of Events at IFM, announced that the EU Islamic Finance and Banking Summit will be an annual event to be held inLondon.
At a parallel event, trophies and certificates were presented to the winners of IFM awards at a gala dinner in the ball room of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower on November 18. The awards recognise excellence in banking, finance, Islamic finance, insurance, brokerage, CSR and other fields. The aim is to turn the spotlight on people who are making a difference in the industry and nation, and companies that are blazing a trail, with the focus on emerging markets and opportunities. The winners came from as far asAustralia and Mexico to collect their awards.
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