KFUPM Islamic Banking and Finance Research Conference
Call for Papers

March 13-15, 2016, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals' (KFUPM) College of Industrial Management and Center of Research Excellence for Islamic Banking and Finance are pleased to announce the inaugural Islamic Banking and Finance Research Conference, to be held at the Ritz-Carleton Hotel, Riyadh, March 13-15, 2016. The conference objective is to present the very best academic research on Islamic banking and finance (IBF) before an audience of pre-eminent scholars and editors of the most prestigious academic finance journals.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Franklin Allen (Imperial College London and University of Pennsylvania)

PROGRAM COMMITTEE: Tim Adam (Humboldt); Sami Al-Suwailem (Islamic Development Bank); Narjess Boubakri (American University of Sharjah); Asli Demirguc-Kunt (World Bank); M. Shahid Ebrahim (Durham); Ben Esty (Harvard); Michael Faulkender (Maryland); Chitru Fernando (Oklahoma); Veljko Fotak (SUNY Buffalo); Erik Gilje (Wharton); M. Kabir Hassan (University of New Orleans); Mansor H. Ibrahim (INCEIF); Andreas Jobst (IMF); Kose John (NYU); Craig Lewis (Vanderbilt); Hesham Merdad (KFUPM); Steven Ongena (Zurich); Houcem Smaoui (KFUPM); Ilya Strebulaev (Stanford); Usamah Uthaman (KFUPM), and Pradeep Yadav (Oklahoma).

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: Mohammed Alzahrani (Dean College of Industrial Management, KFUPM), Bill Megginson (Saudi Aramco Chair in Finance, KFUPM and Price Chair in Finance, University of Oklahoma), and Abdullah Almansour (Director, Center of Research Excellence for Islamic Banking and Finance, KFUPM).

PROFESSIONAL KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: We plan to invite, and are confident of attracting, the Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to be a non-academic keynote speaker. We also plan to invite one or more world-leading bankers specializing in Islamic financial products and services to speak.

JOURNAL EDITORS' PANEL DISCUSSION: The following editors will participate in a Journal Editors' Panel Discussion at the end of the conference, wherein they will summarize the research that has been presented and assess which avenues of research seem most promising for publication.
- Franklin Allen (Imperial College-London and University of Pennsylvania): Editor, Review of Finance
- Mike Faulkender (University of Maryland): Associate Editor, Journal of Finance
- Jarrad Harford (University of Washington): Editor, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
- Steven Ongena (University of Zurich): Associate Editor, Journal of Finance
- Annette Poulsen (University of Georgia): Editor, Journal of Corporate Finance

PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Electronic submissions of unpublished papers can be made beginning June 1, 2015 via the conference website: http://www4.kfupm.edu.sa/cim/IBF2016. The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2015, and authors will be notified by January 15, 2016. Papers submitted solely by PhD students should be indicated accordingly. We expect the selection process to be highly selective, since only 10-12 papers will be chosen. Travel and lodging expenses of the presenting author of each accepted paper will be paid by the conference.

BEST PAPER AWARDS: The conference will award two Best Paper prizes: A Best Conference Paper Award (US$10,000) and a Best Doctoral Student Paper Award ($5,000).

CONFERENCE RATIONALE: In the practical arena of global capital markets, Islamic banking and finance (IBF) instruments, techniques, and principles have become widely integrated enough to now be considered almost mainstream. Business managers in both developed and emerging markets have developed methods for employing financing instruments that comply with IBF strictures against payment of interest and which are compatible with the musharka mandates that there be true risk and profit-sharing between "creditor" and "borrower." Leasing structures compatible with Ijarah have been widely employed, and over three-quarters of a trillion dollars' worth of Islamic-compatible Sukuk bonds have now been issued-over half within the past four years. Despite the maturation of Islamic banking and finance into a market with estimated turnover exceeding $2 trillion annually, top academic researchers have been slow to embrace IBF as a topic for empirical and theoretical analysis. This conference aims to overcome this academic neglect and invigorate top-tier IBF research.

TOPICS SOLICITED: We will solicit empirical or theoretical works covering all areas of Islamic Banking and Finance, including but not limited to the following:
- Risk and return of Islamic bonds vs conventional bonds
- Measuring the level and valuation impact of "leverage" in Islamic Finance shares
- Are Sukuks priced as debt, common equity, or preferred stock-or are they valued otherwise?
- Measuring the X-efficiency of Islamic banking systems
- Comparing Islamic finance Ijarah to conventional leasing structures
- The Law and Finance governance scores for Islamic Finance systems
- Comparing IBF special purpose vehicles (SPV) to conventional securitization and SPV practices
- Analyzing Sukuk issuance and investment banking practices; comparing to conventional IB practices
- Comparing Sukuks to project finance, subordinated debt, REITS, preferred stock
- Payout (dividend and share repurchase) policies of IF compliant companies
- Wealth effects for companies announcing adoption/abandonment of IF practices; issuing Sukuks
- Is government funding via Sukuk issuance cheaper than conventional bonds?
- Measuring secondary market liquidity, default rates, and callability of Sukuks
- Comparing musharaka partnerships structures to conventional limited partnerships
- Can IF insurance policies adequately cover corporate risks?
- Commercial and legal underpinnings of Islamic Finance in home and conventional markets
- Corporate determinants of the Sukuk/conventional debt issuance decision
- How are corporate bankruptcies handled in Islamic finance systems?
- Designing self-enforcing repayment clauses in Sukuks when courts cannot mandate repayment
- Is Islamic Finance commercial funding or "finance as worship"?
- Is IF compliant stock comparable to returns on socially responsible investments in conventional markets?
- Does Islamic Finance provide adequate entrepreneurial financing?
- Can conventional hedging and risk-management tools and practices be made IF compliant?
- Did Islamic equities out-perform conventional equities during and after the Global Financial Crisis?
- Are Islamic financing contracts incentive compatible?

Posted 5/15/15