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Thursday, 9 October 2008

Development of Islamic Banking in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is well-placed to become a centre for Islamic finance in Asia, said Chief Executive Donald Tsang in January when inviting Kuwaiti banks and financial-services companies to extend and diversify their global reach through the city.

According to Mr Tsang Hong Kong's sound financial services infrastructure and well-established legal system make it an attractive location for such investments.

The first Islamic retail fund launched recently in Hong Kong had attracted about US$45 million worth of orders by last December.

Hong Kong's chief executive said last year the city would look to emulate Malaysia and Singapore as a centre for Islamic finance, in an effort to grab a slice of the thriving market.

In his annual policy address, Donald Tsang said providing financial products that comply with Islamic law "offers huge potential for development."

"To further consolidate Hong Kong's position as a global financial centre, we should actively leverage on this new trend by developing an Islamic financial platform in Hong Kong," Tsang told legislators.

"Apart from stepping up our efforts to promote Hong Kong's financial services to major Islamic countries and regions, we will focus on developing an Islamic bond market."

Tsang said the city's Monetary Authority was now working with the financial sector to develop products that complied with Islamic finance's strict rules.

On 29 October 2008, a prominent lawyer from Hong Kong, Amirali B. Nasir, Partner (Nasirs) will provide the report on the latest development of Islamic finance in Hong Kong in The 2nd Global lslamic Finance Conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur. He will present a paper entitled "The Development of Islamic Banking in Hong Kong", one of many papers to be presented by prominent speakers and experts in this field. The conference is organised by GlobalPro Consulting in affiliation with Institute of Bankers Malaysia (IBBM). 200 international participants are expected to attend the event.

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