Central Bank of Bahrain

The Waqf Fund Holds its 5th Roundtable Discussion On SPV Governance

Manama, Bahrain - 07 March 2013 - The Waqf Fund held its 5th Roundtable Discussion on "Shari'a and Corporate Governance Issues in SPV Governance', at Ritz Carlton. The Roundtable was attended by a select group including C-suite executives of Waqf Fund member institutions, lawyers, professional firms and Shari'a scholars. The Roundtable highlighted the key issues facing the Islamic banking industry in governing Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) both from Shari'a and corporate governance perspectives.

Mr. Khalid Hamad welcomed the participants and outlined the agenda for discussion. The Roundtable started with a presentation from Ms. Hana Al Murran of Central Bank of Bahrain who highlighted the regulatory and legal issues with SPVs. It was followed by another presentation from Mr. Khalid Madani of Venture Capital Bank who presented the perspective of a market player. The floor was then opened for discussion, debate and questions which continued for over two hours.

The key issues highlighted by the presentations and subsequent discussion are (1) Board composition and related governance (2) Mechanism to safeguard investors' interest (e.g. investor meetings, representation on the board, etc.) (3) Shari'a governance and compliance (4) Mechanism and type of fee charged to investors (5) Protection of investor interests in the event of liquidation (6) Reporting frequency and transparency (7) Due diligence – technical, accounting and legal (8) Related party issues.

The Waqf Fund has been serving the Islamic finance industry in Bahrain since 2006. It offers several programs targeted at Islamic finance practitioners, Internal Shari'a Reviewers and young Bahraini graduates. It also organizes roundtable discussions on topics of importance to the industry. The Waqf Fund has 21 member institutions including the Central Bank of Bahrain.

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