Luminaries envision future of Islamic Banking

An “International Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance” (ICIBF 2017) was organized by the Accounting and Finance Department of the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) at its main campus in Korangi Creek, Karachi on November 29 and 30, 2017. The theme of the conference was “Unlocking Islamic Banking and Finance potential and Supporting Financial Stability”.

TThe conference included panel discussions and speeches on four key themes including: “Incentive Based Regulatory Framework in Islamic Financial System”, “Islamic Capital Markets and Regulations- Opportunities and Challenges”, “Islamic Product Development and Islamic way of doing business” and “Capitalizing on Islamic Finance Potential for CPEC and Beyond”. The conference included speeches and panel discussions of renowned international speakers, industry leaders including CEOs and Group Heads, Shariah advisors of financial institutions and top academicians of national and international universities.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, CEO Meezan Bank Ltd., and Chief Guest at the conference, elucidated upon the need to create professionals in the Islamic Banking industry for these learned crop of bankers will explain and clarify the ambiguities pertaining to Islamic Banking prevailing among the masses.

He encouraged the audience to go through the “Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Islamic Banking in Pakistan” or the KAP Study to know more about the operations and challenges faced by Islamic Banking in Pakistan.

Mr. Ghulam Muhammad Abbasi, Director, Islamic Banking Department, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Keynote Speaker, shared the historical perspective of SBP’s role in introducing Islamic Banking in Pakistan. He opined that a change in people’s mindsets is needed for Islamic Banking to flourish and that the academia and the industry must work in unison to address the various issues faced by the Islamic Banking sector.

Dr. Amjad Waheed, CEO, NAFA Funds, explained the difference between conventional funds and Islamic funds and that Islamic Banking has the potential to bring change in how the banking sector operates, however, time, investment and resources are needed for this to take place.

In his welcome address Mr. Talib S. Karim, President IoBM, welcomed national and international guests attending the conference and viewed this conference to become a launching pad for the establishment of Center of Islamic Banking and Finance at IoBM. He shared that this is the third international conference held at IoBM during the last four months which reflects IoBM’s vision to organize research-based conferences.

In a message on this occasion, Ms. Sabina Mohsin, Executive Director, AAF, IoBM, said that this international conference shows not only how professionals can resolve and troubleshoot problems facing modern industry but that the contribution of academia is also valuable and crucial in this regard.

Mr. Bashir Janmohammad, Chancellor IoBM and Session Chair, during his speech, congratulated IoBM and the Accounting and Finance department for organizing this conference. He said that proper documentation is needed to make all affairs of Islamic Banking transparent. He was of the view that Pakistan must follow Islamic Banking in letter and in spirit and not just change the name of conventional banking to Islamic banking.

Earlier, Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, Dean CBM and CES and Chairman of this conference, while presenting the Conference Flow, said that this conference will highlight practices, concerns and issues pertaining to Islamic Banking in Pakistan. He called for practitioners of Islamic Banking to understand the challenges faced by this sector and create sustainability in Pakistan’s Islamic Banking domain. Dr. Imam Uddin was the Conference Convener while Ms. Tazeen Arsalan, HoD, Finance Department, was the Chief Organizer of this conference.

National Speakers include Dr. Abdur Rasheed, Head Department of Islamic Banking and Finance, IIUI; Dr. Abdus Sattar Abbasi, Head Center of Islamic Finance CIIT, Lahore; Dr. Kareem Ullah, Coordinator Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance – SBP and UK DFID Project, IM Sciences, Peshawar and Dr. Saad Azmat, Chair, CIF-LUMS.

International Speakers invited were Dr. Dawood Ashraf, Islamic Development Bank; Dr. Mehboob Ul Hassan, King Saud University; Mr. Tarek El Diwany, Kreatoc Zest Ltd., Dr. Muhammad Eskandar Shah, Dean School of Graduate Studies-INCEIF. Industry leaders of Pakistan invited were Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, CEO Meezan Bank Limited; Mr. Saeed Ahmed, President, NBP; Mr. Hasan Bilgrami, CEO, Bank Islami; Dr. Amjad Waheed, CEO NAFA Fund; Mr. Mohammad Shoaib, CEO, Al Meezan Investment Management Ltd; Mr. Ejaz Ali Shah, Managing Director, Pakistan Mercantile Exchange; Mr. Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, Senior Executive Vice President, Meezan Bank Limited; Mr. Jamil Ahmed, Deputy Governor, SBP; Mr. Zubair Haider Shaikh, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, Dubai Islamic Bank; Mr. Javed Memon, Regional Director, HEC; Mr. Talib S. Karim, President IoBM, Mr. Bashir Janmohammad, Chancellor, IoBM and others. Shariah Scholars invited were Dr. Imran Ashraf Usmani, Group Head, PDSC and RSBM, MBL; Mr. Farhan-Ul-Haq Usmani, Head of Shariah Audit and Advisory, Meezan Bank Limited and Dr. Mufti Zubair Ashraf Usmani, Member Shariah Board, HBL and others.