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Wednesday, 28 May 2008

AAOIFI has made a remarkable headway over the years.

MANAMA: The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) has made a remarkable headway over the years.
Housing Minister and AAOIFI chairman Shaikh Ibrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said the organisation has issued financial and Sharia-based standards which, by the next month, will reach 75 and are expected to attain 90 in the coming few years.
Shaikh Ibrahim was speaking at the opening of the two-day Seventh Conference of Sharia Supervisory Boards of Islamic Financial Institutions, being organised by AAOIFI with the participation of 500 Sharia scholars, senior Islamic financial institutions management and a number of university professors from all over the world.
The application of AAOIFI standards is spreading worldwide, while countries like Bahrain, Dubai, Jordan, Sudan, Syria and Lebanon are making compliance with these standards compulsory, Shaikh Ibrahim said.
All Islamic financial institutions are applying the AAOIFI standards to upgrade their products, Shaikh Ibrahim said, adding that the growing tendency to adopt the standards is likely to reinforce the markets confidence in Islamic financial and banking industry.
He called for training staff on the application of the AAOIFI standards, adding that the organisation has two programmes.
The first programme is called the Certified Professional Accountants and the second is the Certified Sharia Adviser and Auditor programme.
Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Governor Rasheed Al Maraj said the growing global popularity of Islamic banking, especially after it proved its resilience in the face of global credit crisis. He called on the Islamic banking institutions to apply international standards so as to enhance their credibility, noting that the Islamic finance sector is one of the bases of CBB's strategic future tendencies aimed at preparing the convenient legislative and supervisory climate for the development of Islamic finance and related services.
He also called for more co-ordination and co-operation between organisations in charge of setting up Sharia-compliant standards and products in order to achieve harmonisation in Islamic finance industry.
On the sidelines of the conference, Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa hailed Bahrain's achievements in Islamic finance sector and its commitment to promote it.
The sector has great potentials to develop, generate new job opportunities and pump more investments, the minister said, underscoring the importance of having a trained and well-qualified cadre for the sector to grow and flourish.
Kuwait Finance House - Bahrain is the gold sponsor of the conference.
General Manager Abdulhakeem Alkhayyat praised the success of the event over the years.
"The rapid changes and developments on Islamic financial and banking levels, have become of immense significance in the development of the banking industry based upon the principles of Sharia.
"This calls for an urgent need for more up-to-date Sharia rules that must adapt to the growth of this industry. "That is why the events by AAOIFI are of considerable importance," Mr Alkhayyat said.
"In appreciation of the major role adopted by AAOIFI, we continue to support its major conferences that further enhance the role played by this organisation" he said.

(Gulf Daily News)

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