Waqf Fund

Waqf Fund hosts tenth Sharia Scholar Session

The Waqf Fund, a Bahrain-based special fund to support Islamic finance training, education and research, hosted its tenth Sharia Scholar session with Dr. Abdulbari Mash'al. Dr. Mashal made a presentation on "What Sharia Reviewers can do to enhance Sharia governance and compliance at Islamic banks". This was followed by an interactive two hour session during which the participants asked questions and gave their comments. Dr. Mash'al explained the general internal Sharia control environment of an Islamic bank and then focused on governance and Sharia compliance. He also explained the interplay between internal Sharia compliance and internal Sharia audit. Dr. Mash'al explained how inherent risks pass through the protection pillar or filter of internal Sharia supervision and the Sharia non-compliance risk is subjected to internal Sharia audit procedures to reduce the likelihood of such risks occurring. If the process is robust it will substantially reduce Sharia non-compliance risk. He emphasized that in order to be effective the internal Sharia auditor has to demonstrate independence and objectivity, technical competence and due care.

Waqf Fund holds its 8th Roundtable Discussion on Venture Capital

The Waqf Fund held its 8th Roundtable Discussion on "Venture Capital - Building the Next Phase of Economic Development in Bahrain". The half-day session was attended by a group of 39 senior professionals. Some of the key takeaways from the Roundtable are as follows: Venture capital is an important industry. An ecosystem is needed to create a vibrant venture capital industry. There is a strong case for the government to kick start the venture capital industry. A change of mindset is required among capital owners of the region. The conclusions reached and recommendations provided by the Roundtable Discussion will be compiled by the Waqf Fund for further consideration of the relevant authorities.

Waqf fund hosts eighth shari'a scholar session with Dr. Akram Laldin

Bahrain-based Waqf Fund hosted its eighth Shari'a Scholar session with Islamic finance scholar Professor Dr. Akram Laldin from Malaysia. Dr. Laldin serves on several Shari'a Boards including Bank Negara Malaysia's Shari'a Advisory Council, AAOIFI and a number of Islamic financial institutions in Malaysia and globally. The topic under discussion was "The Challenges of Achieving Shari'a Compliance in Islamic Finance". Dr. Laldin made a presentation on the key challenges in Shari'a compliance and narrated a number of real life cases from his experience as a Shari'a Board member. This was followed by an interactive session during which the participants asked questions and gave their comments.

Sharia banking issues probed

The Waqf Fund recently held a roundtable discussion themed, "Shariah and corporate governance issues in SPV governance," in Bahrain. The meeting was attended by a select group including lawyers, professional firms and Shariah scholars. Central Bank of Bahrain's Hana Al Murran made a presentation highlighting the regulatory and legal issues with special purpose vehicles (SPVs). Among others, the key issues highlighted were: mechanism to safeguard investors' interest, Shariah governance and compliance, mechanism and type of fee charged to investors, reporting frequency and transparency, and due diligence.

Waqf Fund 'supporting industry'

The Waqf Fund, which purpose is to support Islamic finance training, education and research, has expanded its scope of activity and started supporting the industry in various ways during the last year. According to a statement by Khalid Hamad, fund chairman and Central Bank of Bahrain executive director of banking supervision, the fund is supporting Bahrain University in their Bachelor of Arts in Sharia for banking and finance as well as Shaikh Isa Library.

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