The increasingly international outlook of the Islamic finance market place is providing new growth opportunities for Islamic banks and, according to Standard Chartered Saadiq, Malaysia's chief executive, Wasim Akhtar Saifi, is also offering much-needed solutions to the industry's longer term liquidity management problems.
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Morocco is on the cusp of a legislative breakthrough that will pave the way for a fully fledged Islamic finance system in the country. But with a history of failed Islamic banking experiments, on top of the usual problems associated with establishing a new market in a country, Morocco's Islamic banking sector is unlikely to take an instant hold.
With the UK, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and South Africa all preparing to issue, the popularity of sukuk is going global. And though each is likely to be limited in size, they will bring with them greater international awareness of sharia-compliant financing options.
Observers are already predicting that 2014 will be a record-breaking year for sukuk issuance. While the majority of deals are currently coming out of Malaysia, CIMB Islamic's CEO believes that developments in the pipeline will see the asset class grow its international presence.
As the Qatari economy has contracted in recent years, the country's banks have developed their own niches in order to remain profitable in what has become an increasingly competitive market.
Islamic banking already has a strong presence in Kuwait. With a number of innovative lenders competing in the sector, and support and regulatory oversight from the country's central bank, it looks as though the industry can only become a more prominent fixture on the country's financial landscape.
Kuwait’s central bank governor Mohammad al-Hashel is at the forefront of new thinking on Islamic finance.
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