ISLAMIC BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

This is what happens when Islamic banks' CEOs engage in a power debate

Find out what CEOs of CIMB, Maybank argued.

According to a release, a key highlight of the 4th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference 2013 in Asia was the high profile Power Debate session led by internationally respected CEOs and industry leaders.

The Power Debate Session featured Shayne Nelson, Chairman of Standard Chartered Saadiq Islamic Banking, Chief Executive Officer Private Bank and Group Head SME Banking, Standard Chartered; Toby O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Bank of Asia;

Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad; Muzaffar Hisham, Chief Executive Officer of Maybank Islamic Berhad; Hussain AlQemzi, Chief Executive Officer, Noor Islamic Bank and Group Chief Executive Officer, Noor Investment Group;

Syed Abdull Aziz Jailani Bin Syed Kechik, Chief Executive Officer of OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad; and Abdulrazzak Mohammed Elkhraijy, Executive Vice President and Head of the Islamic Banking Development Group, The National Commercial Bank-Saudi Arabia, and assessed prospects for greater inter-regional linkages and cross-border Islamic finance transactions, analysing key strategies to create a level playing field across borders for Islamic finance.

Speaking at the Power Debate session, Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad said that, with Islamic finance continuing to gain ground globally, the need for harmonious international industry standards and cross-border coordination and collaboration has become of even more significant importance.”

Mr. Abdul Ghani said that “in this phase of growing international transactions, Islamic finance needs to be dynamic and innovative, with an emphasis on the development of diversified and comprehensive Shariah-compliant financial solutions to meet the differentiated needs of various businesses, including the requirements of international businesses and thus facilitate cross-border investments; and this requires a close coordination and collaboration between the two powerhouse regions for Islamic finance in Asia – the Middle East and Southeast Asia.”

He also said that “CIMB Islamic is once again delighted to be partnering with this prestigious event”.

A similar view was expressed by Muzaffar Hisham, Chief Executive Officer of Maybank Islamic Berhad who said that “Islamic finance has shown remarkable resilience during the recent global financial crisis while achieving tremendous international growth over the last decade. Recent reports indicate Islamic Finance grew by 20% annually in the last five years to reach US$1.3 trillion in total assets in 2011.”

According to Mr. Hisham “as Islamic banking continues its steady progress into the mainstream financial system and becomes more integrated with the global financial system, one of the most challenging hurdles the industry must overcome is to continue on its successful growth path and overcome fragmented regulation; and this calls for an ongoing dialogue between key regulators, industry practitioners and market participants to overcome the obstacles and achieve greater international connectivity.”

“Maybank Islamic is once again delighted to be supporting the annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit, which has over the last 4 years become an important bridge connecting the Islamic finance industry in Asia and the Middle East and beyond”, added Mr. Hisham.

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