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Bahrain now even more central to Islamic finance

An initiative to enable small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to take greater advantage of Shari’a-compliant finance and insurance was announced recently as part of the Bahrain Government’s commitment to rapid development of the private sector.
In addition, consultants Deloitte have hosted important Islamic finance workshops to address issues in risk governance and talent management.
To help SMEs succeed, the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private-sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Through the partnership, the ICD will establish a world-class Islamic Ijara Company that offers Shari’a-compliant financing products. It will also train Bahrainis in Islamic finance.
The ICD also plans to develop software solutions for Ijara, Takaful, mortgage and Islamic banking for international export – vital as demand for Islamic finance and insurance is increasing dramatically across the Middle East.
Bahrain is already recognised as an influential global leader in Islamic finance. Not only does the Kingdom have 24 Islamic banks with assets exceeding $23 billion; over 30 countries have taken our guidance on setting up their own Islamic finance structures.
We are also known as an Islamic insurance hub. Bahrain was the first to introduce market-leading regulations and promote dedicated professional bodies. As a result, today we offer unparalleled knowledge and a wealth of human talent in the field. In fact, Bahrain was just named ranking the GCC’s leading Islamic finance market for the second year in a row and ranked second worldwide by the ICD-Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI)
Commenting on the MOU, H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB, said: “We are delighted to announce this partnership that will provide a significant boost to the Islamic finance sector, not just in Bahrain but in all ICD member countries and beyond.”

 Al Baraka works with the World Bank

Al Baraka Banking Group has announced a research partnership with the World Bank that will benefit the global Islamic banking industry. The partnership’s first initiative in a planned series of research projects will be a study examining the risk-management challenges facing Islamic banks, with a particular focus on musharaka and mudaraba under the profit-and-loss-sharing system.