Upcoming World Islamic Banking Conference focused on sector's growth

The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) and Thomson Reuters will release a set of new studies and reports on the global Islamic finance sector at the World Islamic Banking Conference next month.

IRTI, a part of the Islamic Development Bank Group, and Thomson Reuters are set to kick off the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) in Bahrain on Dec. 1 with a roundtable discussion titled "Capturing Growth Opportunities in Emerging Islamic Finance Markets.”

WIBC aims to explore investment opportunities in high-growth emerging Islamic financial markets. That covers the key regions of Central Asia, North Africa and the Americas.

The roundtable comes as Islamic finance continues to boom in markets across the world. Last year, Islamic financial assets totaled an estimated $1.8 trillion – a number expected to double by 2020, according to Thomson Reuters’ Islamic Finance Development Indicator.

The growth of Islamic financial instruments is inspiring even non-majority Muslim countries to develop new infrastructure for that market. In North America, Canada is leading the way with Islamic finance initiatives. The country is introducing new regulations and lending help to encourage the growth of the nation’s Islamic finance sector.

Central Asian nations such as Kazakhstan that have traditionally used Western banking structures are reconfiguring along the lines of more Islamic finance-inspired systems. The sector is also on the rise in North Africa where Sudan alone has 34 Islamic Banks.

The WIBC roundtable event runs Dec. 1-3 at the Gulf Hotel in Manama, Bahrain.

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