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Box Story 6: 6th Islamic Financial Services Board Summit in Singapore

MAS successfully hosted the landmark 6th Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Summit in May 2009 - the first time the event was held in East Asia. The Summit, with the theme, "The Future of Islamic Financial Services", saw participation from central bank governors and regulatory heads of Bahrain, Korea, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, as well as almost 300 delegates comprising financial regulators and industry participants from IFSB member countries. Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, President of the Islamic Development Bank gave the keynote address.

At the summit, MAS announced the issuance of Guidelines on the Application of Banking Regulations to Islamic Banking. The guidelines offer specific information on regulatory treatment of various Islamic structures to provide greater clarity and certainty to financial institutions conducting Islamic financial activities in Singapore. Over the year, MAS introduced new banking regulations for Murabaha interbank placements, Ijara and diminishing Musharaka financing and spot Murabaha transactions. We also announced the addition of Islamic Finance to the list of specialised Masters courses eligible for funding support under the Finance Scholarship Programme.

Since becoming a full member in 2005, MAS has contributed to IFSB's work through our participation in its standard-setting Technical Committee and various task forces. We are also part of IFSB's working groups on supervisory review, capital adequacy, Islamic money markets and solvency requirements for Takaful operators. Singapore's hosting of the Summit underscores our support of IFSB and our position as an international financial centre with a growing suite of Islamic financial services.


Heng Swee Keat, Managing Director, MAS speaking at the 6th IFSB Summit


(From left): Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry and Deputy Chairman of MAS; Professor Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, Secretary-General of the Islamic Financial Services Board; Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, President of the Islamic Development Bank and Heng Swee Keat, Managing Director, MAS, at the gala dinner of the 6th IFSB Summit.


Central bankers and financial regulators from the Middle East and Asia, the President of the Islamic Development Bank and Secretary General of the Islamic Financial Services Board called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana on 8 May 2009.

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