The global Islamic banking and financial services industry will receive a boost on October 13 when experts, academia and industry players meet to put on their thinking caps and find ways on how to bolster the sector further. Themed "Innovation in Islamic Finance: A Fast Track to Global Acceptance," the sixth International Islamic Finance conference 2008 in Kuala Lumpur is set to attract over 300 participants from over 10 countries.
The global Islamic financial services industry has trebled in the past decade and is now reportedly worth around US$531 billion (RM1.8 trillion).
According to Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board and Saudi Arabia's Islamic Development Bank, the industry including banking assets may grow to US$2.8 trillion (RM9.7 trillion) by 2010.
Monash University director of banking and finance unit (school of business) Professor Bala Shanmugam said the conference provides a platform for industry players to meet and and discuss critical issues and ideas relating to Islamic banking and finance.
He said the global banking arena is undergoing turmoil as a result of the credit crunch due to the subprime crisis with several mega banks such as Citibank, JP Morgan, UBS and its latest victim the US fourth largest investment bank Lehman Brothers having to write down billions of assets in their books.
"Outlook for Islamic finance is very good because the sector was not affected by the subprime crisis because the industry is conservative in their investments," Shanmugam added.