Waqf Fund holds 12th roundtable discussion
A roundtable discussion on Creating an Islamic Profit Rate Benchmark by Waqf Fund concluded yesterday with the participation of experts from both inside and outside Bahrain. The 12th Roundtable Discussion organised by the Waqf Fund focused on the topic “Creating an Islamic Profit Rate Benchmark – Why and How”. 20 people participated in the Roundtable including several from outside Bahrain.
The meeting concluded that Islamic finance should establish its profit rate benchmark and move away from using conventional interest rate benchmarks, despite serious challenges in design, implementation and monitoring of the new benchmark. Bank Negara Malaysia and Central Bank of Sudan were among the regulators – besides the Central Bank of Bahrain present at the event. The leadership of standard setting bodies AAOIFI and IIFM was also represented together with senior people from International Shari’ah Research Academy (ISRA), Malaysia and Islamic Research & Training Institute (IRTI), Saudi Arabia.
The Round table started with presentations from Omar Mustafa Ansari, Acting Secretary General, AAOIFI, Dr Yahia Abdulrahman, founder of La Riba Bank, USA, Dr Younes Soualhi, senior researcher, ISRA and Dr. Sami Al Suwailem, CEO, IRTI. The speakers deliberated on various aspects of the need to create a new Islamic profit rate benchmark, the issues with using LIBOR, the developments regarding LIBOR’s replacement and the practical issues in implementing a new benchmark. After the presentations the floor was opened for debate and discussion.