Toronto conference looks at growth and potential of the Islamic Finance across the globe

banner2(March15, 2010) – Politicians, bankers, real estate agents, and members of the financial community will convene in Toronto for the inaugural Usury-Free Association of North America (UFANA) conference on March 30th and March 31st at Sheraton Centre Hotel in downtown Toronto.

The two-day conference will deal with the growth and potential of the Islamic Finance across the globe.

The conference comes on the heels of the January 2010 release of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) study that notes most forms of Islamic financing, including Shari’ah-compliant mortgages, would pose no concluded hurdles if widely offered in Canada.

“Islamic financial products should not present any particular difficulties under Canadian accounting standards,” states the study.

The report was commissioned last year at a time when efforts were underway by Muslim financial firms to have one or more of Canada’s large banks issue Shari’ah mortgages.

Guy David a partner at Gowling, Lafleur Henderson LLP will speak at the conference, along with: Majid Dawood, CEO of Yasaar Limited; Blake Goud, author of Islamic Finance in North America 2009; Najeeb Rana of Erest &Young Dubai, supporters of the Zawya Sukuk Report; Brian Koscak, Partner, Cassels Brock and Omar Kalair, President and CEO, UM Financial – both of whom contributed to the report.

Topics to be covered at the conference include:
– Understanding how to create and manage Shari’ah-compliant products
– Learning about the decision-making process of approving Islamic products and institutions
– Discovering strategies for structuring, issuing and investing in Sukuk (Islamic bonds)
– Addressing liquidity management problems within Islamic commercial and retail banks
– Examining the suitability of Canadian investment products developed for large infrastructure projects for Islamic investors
– A unique insight into the idea of an “Alternative Banking System”
– Discussions on other usury-free products designed by the Buddist, Hindu and Christian communities, such as the Dow Jones Dharmic Fund based on Buddhist and Hindu principles

The conference will feature over 30 speakers from across the world. Among the confirmed speakers are:
– Sheikh Nizam Yaqoobi, Shariah Scholar, Bahrain
– Rev. Lindsay G. King, Family Life Foundation, Canada
– Sheikh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, Shariah Scholar, USA
– Dr. Nejatullah Siddiqui, Islamic Economist, USA
– Rushdi Siddiqui, Global Head of Islamic Finance, Thomson Reuters, USA
– Dr. Mohammad Fadel, Assistant Law Professor, University of Toronto, Canada
– Dr. Walid Hejazi, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Canada
– Majid Dawood, CEO, Yasaar Limited, Dubai, UAE
– Adnan Haider, Treasury & Investments Division, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, UAE
– Saad Rehman, Scotia McLeod, Scotia Bank, Canada
– Dr. Nazim Ali, Director, Islamic Finance Project, Harvard Law School, USA
– Stephen Ranzini, President & Chairman, University Bank, USA
– Omar Kalair, President & CEO, UM Financial, Canada
– Kamal Hassan, Structured Products, Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain
– Talib Mumtaz Ali , Structured Finance , Dubai Islamic Bank, UAE
– Hooman Sabeti, Allen & Overy LLP, Singapore

The conference will be held on March 30th & 31st, 2010 at the Dominion Ballroom of the Sheraton Centre Hotel at 123 Queen Street West in downtown Toronto.

Conference information: