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Singapore Set For 2010 Islamic Finance Conference

Vanessa Doctor

8 December 2009

Singapore has been chosen to be the venue of the inaugural Asia World Islamic Banking Conference in June 2010.

Speaking at this year's 16th WIBC event in Bahrain, Heng Swee Keat, the managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore said that although Singapore is relatively new to the Islamic finance industry, the city-state's existing strengths in banking insurance, asset management and capital markets places it on a steady path towards becoming a viable hub for shariah compliant financial services.

"We were honoured to host the 5th Islamic Financial Services Board Annual Summit in May. At this Summit, MAS issued a consolidated set of guidelines to provide greater clarity and certainty on how our banking regulations apply to Islamic banking," said Mr Heng.

The MAS this year successfully launched its Sukuk, while the Islamic Development Bank also issued a Singapore dollar denominated trust certificate worth $200 million. Several of Singapore-based companies have also adopted Shariah-compliant structures for their financing needs. Keppel T&T, for instance, has signed a joint venture with Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Holding Group to create the world's first Shariah-compliant data centre fund.

"We will continue to work with fellow regulators and the private sector to fine-tune our regulatory approach and to develop the infrastructure and talent to facilitate the growth of Islamic Finance in Singapore," Mr Heng added.