Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) held a public event and public hearing of two of its standards hosted by Banque du Liban (BDL) (Central bank of Lebanon) in Beirut, Lebanon. AAOIFI’s Accounting Board (AAB) also held a closed-door meeting with His Excellency, Riad Toufic Salamé, Governor of BDL and His Excellency Raed H. Charafeddine, First Vice-Governor of BDL. AAOIFI also held its 10th meeting of the AAB at the Gefinor Rotana Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon.
AAOIFI’s public interaction with the Lebanese local banking and finance professionals, Shari’ah scholars, professionals from accounting and audit firms, academicians and other professionals was aimed at getting the pulse of Lebanese Islamic banking and finance industry to better focus AAOIFI’s efforts to help develop Islamic financial market in Lebanon.
The public hearings of Exposure Drafts of each of its Governance and Accounting standards: “Shari’ah Compliance Function” (GSIFI 9) and revised Financial Accounting Standard (FAS) 25 “Investment in Sukuk, Shares and Similar Instruments” were also held. The stimulating interaction with the Lebanese banking and finance professionals provided vital inputs on the market and opinions and comments on the AAOIFI standards. Industry feedback received during the public hearings in the form of questions, comments, and recommendations, as well as those directly provided to AAOIFI by the industry stakeholders is compiled and presented to the respective working groups and Boards to be discussed and deliberated upon before the final issuance of the standards.
AAOIFI also held its 10th meeting of the AAOIFI Accounting Board (AAB) on 21st and 22nd of June 2018 at the same venue in Beirut, Lebanon hosted by BDL. The Board deliberated on the Exposure Draft on Ijarah and Ijarah Muntahia Bittamleek, and the Standards Review and Revision Project.
His Excellency Riad Salamé in the meeting with AAB members expressed appreciation of AAOIFI for its work and said that BDL is keen to develop Islamic banking sector in Lebanon. His Excellency said that the Central Bank has facilitated Islamic banking in Lebanon and published a guide on Islamic Banking. Banking Sector remains to be one of the main pillers of the Lebanese economy. HE added that Lebanese economy significantly relies on trade and services, and with foreign remittances being more than 15% of the country’s GDP and deposits reaching three times the size of the country’s GDP, Islamic banks have an opportunity to develop products and use this deposit base to grow. The Governor stressed that BDL is eager to improve the private sector where Islamic financial institutions can play a catalytic role.
The Chairman of the AAB, Mr. Hamad Oqab, thanked His Excellency the Governor and the First-Vice Governor of Banque du Liban for thier support to AAOIFI and affirmed the Board’s commitment and support to the Islamic banking industry in the Lebanese Repulic.
On this occasion, His Excellency the First Vice-Governor, Banque du Liban, Raed H. Charafeddine said the central bank is delighted to welcome AAOIFI in Beirut, and congratulated AAOIFI on its contribution to the global Islamic banking and finance industry. He said BDL highly regards AAOIFI standards as international reference for the industry worldwide and offered his support to AAOIFI to help promote Islamic banking industry in Lebanon.
The Acting Secretary General, AAOIFI, Mr. Omar Mustafa Ansari acknowledged Banque du Liban and its management for their assistance and support and assistance in hosting AAOIFI’s events in Lebanon, and hoped that AAOIFI will work closely with the central bank for the promotion of Islamic banking and finance industry in Lebanon. He also expressed appreciation to the Lebanese banking and finance industry for their active participation in the public event and public hearings of its standards.
In addition, the Acting Secretary General acknowledged BDL’s consideration of AAOIFI standards when preparing its own circulars for Islamic banking in Lebanon and hoped that BDL will adopt AAOIFI standards as a framework for Islamic Banking regulations. He also highlighted the significant role and contribution of the AAOIFI Accounting Board member, Mr. Firas Hamdan, who is also the coordinator of the Islamic Banking Regulatory Committee at the Banque Du Liban in pushing for the collaboration between the two institutions further.
Several public hearings for AAOIFI accounting, governance and ethics standards have earlier taken place in Bahrain, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates among others, and future public hearings will be held during 2018 in different parts of the world to obtain the industry feedback on other exposure drafts already issued by AAOIFI. The details of the future public hearings will be announced before the events for participation by the industry stakeholders. Exposure drafts can be accessed through these links: Shari’ah Compliance Function (GSIFI 9) and Investment in Sukuk, Shares and Similar Instruments (revised FAS 25).