Islamic banking talks - and new degree

An international symposium on Islamic Banking and Finance is taking place today at the InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto, entitled Islamic Banking and Finance and the Current Global Financial Crisis. 

Islamic Banking and Finance The symposium, the largest ever held on the subject in Australia, is being opened by the Hon Nick Sherry, Assistant Treasurer. The event is co-hosted by La Trobe University, National Australia Bank (NAB) and the Muslim Community Corporation of Australia (MCCA).

‘This is an important day for La Trobe as the symposium coincides with the launch of Australia’s first ever Master in Islamic Banking and Finance (MIBF) at the University,’ said Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Johnson.

‘The MIBF degree is truly cutting edge, and will provide postgraduate students with training in the technical skills in demand by global Islamic capital markets and institutions. Students will develop expertise in Islamic banking, Islamic insurance and Islamic capital markets’, said Professor Johnson.

‘Our main campus in Bundoora is located in an area of northern Melbourne with a fast growing  Muslim community which is very supportive of the new course, as are our partners for today’s event, NAB and the MCCA,’ he added.

The Islamic Banking and Finance market, estimated at USD$1 trillion, has been relatively resilient in the current global financial crisis. The annual growth rate over the last ten years has been estimated at 15-25 per cent. KPMG reports that within the next ten years, 50 per cent of the Muslim world will be involved with Islamic banking and finance.

More than 220 delegates and speakers from Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Pakistan, UAE the UK and other countries will be present at the symposium.

Speakers include Former Opposition Leader, now Chairman of Global DC Pty Ltd, Dr John Hewson; Head of Distribution, Global Market Division, NAB, Mr Steve Lambert; Dr Abul Jalaluddin from the Australian Tax Office; Professors Michael Skully (Monash), Andrew Worthington (Griffith), Mervyn Lewis (UniSA); and the  Head of Islamic Finance, Price Waterhouse Coopers, UK, Mr Mohammed Amin.  

Symposium organiser, Associate Professor Ishaq Bhatti of La Trobe University’s School of Economics and Finance said: ‘This symposium is a joint effort between industry and academia to explore the issues and opportunities related to Islamic Banking and Finance.

‘The current crisis – together with a growing demand for Shari’ah compliant products and services – calls for an active response from industry as well as academia.

‘We will be looking at the performance of Islamic banks and financial institutions in the face of the current crisis, as well as the challenges for the sector particularly in Australia,’ he added.

Dr Bhatti said the new Masters program will appeal to international students from Asia who want Islamic financial training in English, and to local graduates keen to enter the sector in Australia.

For more information on the symposium and the Master course see:
www.latrobe.edu.au/lawman/courses/ibf-symposium

NOTE:  Complimentary delegate passes are available for media wishing to attend the conference, but prior registration is essential.

ENDS

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