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14 June 2010

Singapore tabs Islamic finance

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Islamic finance is set to play a bigger and more central role in global finance. This is because of greater awareness and adoption in more financial centres.

Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said this at the launch of the inaugural World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) Asia Summit in Singapore on Monday, according to Channel News Asia.

Mr Lim, who's also deputy chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said the Islamic finance industry is expected to continue to grow at twice the pace of its conventional counterpart.

He said some surveys estimate that the sector will soon cross the US$1 trillion mark in total assets.

And as a financial hub, Mr. Lim said Singapore is ready to play a wider developmental role in promoting Islamic finance.

He said the Middle East and Asia can complement each other's development and explore new growth areas for mutual benefit.

But he cautioned that the Islamic finance industry needs to be mindful of the lessons learned from the financial crisis two years ago.

It also needs to pay greater attention to issues related to capital adequacy, market liquidity and risk management.

Mr Lim said overcoming these challenges will require strong cooperation within the industry and across the different jurisdictions.

The World Islamic Banking Conference has been held successfully in Bahrain for the past 16 years.

The WIBC Asian Summit will now be an annual event anchored in Singapore.

Singapore said it hopes the summit will become an important event on the Islamic finance calendar over time and catalyse even greater engagement between the Middle East and Asia.


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