Amid continuing turmoil in global credit markets, Islamic finance is going from strength to strength with the rise of Sharia investment, and analyses the challenges ahead.
With the credit crunch and markets in the West tightening their belts, more and more attention is becoming focused on the Middle East as a source of potential revenue and growth.
And with a host of Sharia-compliant products on offer, both local and international finance houses are scrambling to secure their slice of a lucrative market.
Islamic finance has grown by between 15 and 20% in each of the past three years, and since the inception of modern Islamic banking, the number and reach of Islamic financial institutions worldwide has risen from one institution in one country in 1975, to more than 300 institutions operating in more than 75 countries today.
Although Islamic banks are concentrated in the Middle East and southeast Asia, they are also niche players in Europe and the US. Islamic banking assets and assets under management now exceed US$1.7 trillion, and the Islamic finance sector is expected to reach US$2.7 trillion by 2010.
Malaysia, Dubai 'should develop Islamic finance'
By Babu Das Augustine, Banking Editor Published: October 03, 2008, 23:41
Dubai The Malaysian Islamic financial sector is seen as one of the most progressive and attractive in the world given the numerous incentives planned and further liberation in the coming years.
Over the past decade, the international financial community has taken note of Malaysia's strategic direction in developing and nurturing Islamic banking and finance. The strategies are being implemented through clear and deliberate policies spelt out in both the Financial Sector Master Plan as well as the Capital Market Master Plan.
Currently, Malaysia is the largest Islamic banking and financial services market in the world that has the critical mass of diversified players - Islamic banks, investment banks, takaful companies, development financial institutions, savings institutions, fund management companies, stock brokers and unit trusts.
Malaysian Islamic insurer to expand in Mena region
ReutersPublished: October 03, 2008, 22:23
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Islamic insurer Takaful Ikhlas is in talks to sell its products in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), its chief executive was quoted as saying.