Islamic Capital Market growth comes under scrutiny at ICA Conference

Mohammed Al HashemiWorld economic experts gather in Dubai to debate question of how to seize opportunities of economic integration in Middle East.

photo caption: Mohammed Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Financial Markets Association.

Key factors behind the recent prosperity of Islamic capital markets and prospects for sustainable growth will be analysed by some of the world’s foremost economic experts at the ICA Conference opening in Dubai tomorrow (Friday).

Taking place at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel , the two-day event is organised by the UAE Financial Markets Association in collaboration with the International Cambist Association (ICA) and strategic partner Dubai International Financial Centre.

“Islamic capital markets have been among the most important growth areas of Sharia-compliant finance in recent years, and a number of regional economies now have large and mature stock exchanges,” said Mohammed Al Hashem, Chairman of the UAE Financial Markets Association.

“The momentum in the area of sukuk has been even more impressive, with new structures and a great deal of standardization, as well rapid growth in issuance.

“The conference presents a perfect opportunity to look closely at what accounts for the greater maturing of Islamic capital markets, and to evaluate how much of the progress we have seen is real and sustainable.”

Added Al Hashemi: “We will be identifying the most important development priorities for Islamic capital markets, and assessing when we can expect to see Islamic capital markets match the role of their conventional counterparts in countries with large Sharia-compliant industries.”

An international panel of speakers include Michael Grifferty, Founder of The Gulf Bond and Sukuk Association; Alia Mo bayed, Director and Senior Economist at Barclays Bank; David French, Senior Financial Correspondent, Middle East at Reuters and Jacques Attalla, CEO of A&A and President of Planet Finance.

Delegates will debate the question of how to seize the opportunities of economic integration in the Middle East.

“Economic integration has been an important driver of trade, investment, and broader economic development,” said Al Hashem. “A number of regional economic groupings around the world have achieved significant headway in terms of creating new opportunities for economic expansion.

“Key cases in point include the EU, NAFTA, and ASEAN. Globally, economic integration seems to be transitioning to its next stage with new transatlantic and trans-Pacific initiatives. In the Middle East, the GCC is the most important case of economic integration, but progress in the broader regions has to date been fairly modest.

“The conference will examine what has been done to bring about genuine economic integration in the Middle East, and look at why progress to date has been so limited in spite of obvious complementarities, and what could be done to further accelerate it.”

The conference, which will be officially opened tomorrow morning by Abdullah Al Ahmedi, Chairman of the ICA, is supported by Platinum sponsors Emirates NBD and FGB, Gold sponsors Al Hilal Bank and BNP Paribas, and Silver sponsor Murex. More information on registering to attend is available on

– Lindsay Johnston, Total Communications Dubai also photo

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