On the 28th September, Borsa Istanbul hosted another highly successful incarnation of the IFN Turkey Forum, which was characterized by vibrant debate and enthusiastic attendance from both local and international players keen to leverage on the opportunities within the country’s nascent Islamic finance industry.
Although Turkey has struggled with political and economic turbulence over the past year, the authorities have not let these challenges interfere with their commitment to support and develop a robust Shariah compliant market. With over 160 attendees, the IFN Turkey Forum 2016 was supported by key regulators and institutions, and attracted leaders and practitioners from across the Islamic world keen to learn more about upcoming opportunities and discuss the challenges and complexities unique to this market.
Introduced with a keynote speech from Himmet Karadog, the chairman of Borsa Istanbul, the event focused on the positive opportunities within the industry despite recent setbacks. “The effect of the recent downgrade is expected to be limited, especially due to the wide range of capital market instruments,” confirmed Himmet. The opportunities in the Islamic debt capital market were a key theme, with current outstanding Sukuk at US$3.8 billion and US$1.3 billion in trading value on the Borsa, according to the Borsa Istanbul chairman. With double taxation recently removed, there are high expectations for the corporate market and a huge opportunity for infrastructure financing.
Other topics included the importance of innovation, strategies for capital-raising, opportunities for entrepreneurial start-ups and the role of participation finance in Turkey’s Vision 2023. Notable speakers included Ahmet Bicer, the executive director and head of the Banking and Financial Institutions Department at the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey; Aysegul Eksit, the executive vice-chair of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey; Mohammed Dawood, the managing director of global Sukuk financing at HSBC; Hulusi Horozoglu, the managing director and head of wholesale banking at HSBC Turkey; Ahmed Al Qassim, CEO of Emirates NBD Capital; Fehmi Tutulmaz, the head of financial institutions and investment banking at Ziraat Participation Bank; Metin Tekeci, the head and general manager of Turkiye Finans, Bahrain; Dr Serdar Sumer, CEO of Aktif Bank; Rizwan Kanji, a partner with King & Spalding; Tayfun Ozkan, CEO of KT Asset Management; and many more.
The day was completed by the second annual IFN Turkey Dialogue, a high-level, closed-door, invitation-only discussion featuring leading players and senior regulators within the Turkish market to build a roadmap toward future progress.
IFN is proud to support Turkey in its ongoing journey toward a strong, vibrant and well-regulated participation banking sector and is delighted to have hosted yet another exceptional event demonstrating the firm commitment toward progress from all stakeholders in the industry.