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Monday, 4 February 2008

Top quotes from the Islamic Finance Summit

(Reuters-4 Feb 08) - Here are some of the top quotes from speakers attending the Reuters Islamic Finance Summit which is being held in Bahrain, Dubai, Geneva, Kuala Lumpur, London and New York this week:
RASHEED AL-MARAJ, BAHRAINI CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR
"In Islamic banking, there is no black box that needs a genius to unwind it. Many of these conventional products that have been under stress lately are very complex and need special risk management tools. In Islamic banking you will not have this kind of thing. Some of these products would not be sharia accepted."
"I think opportunities exist in the United States and Europe as a result of this financial distress (from the U.S. mortgage crisis)."
NOR MOHAMED YAKCOP, MALAYSIA'S SECOND FINANCE MINISTER
"There is a feeling that the way Islamic finance is structured -- the lack of freedom in leveraging, the need for real assets -- that there will be some who will find Islamic financing interesting."
ASIF MUMTAZ, HSBC AMANAH
"There are regulatory differences -- there is no one basic regulatory environment across geographies that manages Islamic banking today. I think that is one of the fundamental pieces that needs to be addressed in order for the true potential of Islamic banking to be realized."
"Not enough is being done at the industry level from an innovation point of view. Up until now the industry has grown to meet the basic needs... But the innovation aspect, which is really true R&D, has not happened yet. And I think if we are really to capture opportunities, that R&D has to come in."
SHAFQAT MALIK, ALDAR PROPERTIES COMPANY
"The level of awareness has definitely changed in 12 months, still there is a long way to go. The key thing will come when we get the documentation and the structuring streamlined and have some sort of regulatory body."
GEERT BOSSUYT, DEUTSCHE BANK
"I believe in efficiency of markets, also Islamic markets, and I am pretty sure that the market will come to a certain consensus."
(Compiled by Andrew Marshall; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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