A joint conference themed “Soundness Indicators for Conventional and Islamic Finance” was successfully organised by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 1-2 March 2017 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The conference opened with remarks by Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, director general chairman of the board, AMF, Saif Hadef Al Shamsi, assistant governor, Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE), Jaseem Ahmed, secretary-general, IFSB and Gabriel Quiros, deputy director, Statistics Department, IMF. The conference, participation of which was principally focused on the Arab-speaking countries, brought together over 60 mid-to-senior level officials from international regional institutions and the regulatory and supervisory authorities in member jurisdictions of the IMF, the IFSB and the AMF.
The conference agenda centred on the global statistical databases established by the IMF and the IFSB, namely, the Financial Soundness Indicators and the prudential and structural Islamic financial indicators respectively, to strengthen financial sector surveillance and address data gaps identified as a result of the global financial crisis.
In his opening remarks, Al Hamidy noted the IMF and IFSB’s efforts in the development of soundness indicators, which reflect the strengths and weaknesses of a country’s financial system, and can evolve to be tools for prudential oversight and act as early warning tools in detecting a potential financial crisis. In highlighting the importance of areas for collaboration to the delegates, Al Hamidy said, “there is a need for Arab countries to give more attention to soundness indicators for the non-banking financial sectors, which will help better supervision and monitoring of these institutions”.
He said, “overcoming challenges requires concerted efforts and continuous cooperation, utilising capabilities and benefitting from all available expertise to develop the financial sector in the Arab region and to strengthen its soundness and stability.”