Al Rayan Bank CEO Sultan Choudhury explains how the first Western sharia-compliant bank defied early setbacks and the global financial crisis to write its own success story.
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The Islamic finance success story shows no signs of abating, with banks in this field continuing to thrive in spite of continuing global economic pressures and social and political unrest in many of its strongholds. We celebrate the industry’s finest in our Islamic Bank of the Year Awards 2015.
Islamic finance may be a rapidly growing industry, but its pace of development is leading to a variety of shortfalls, from human capital to regulatory harmonisation. Daud Vicary Abdullah, the president of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance in Malaysia, explains to James King how his institution could provide the answer to these problems.
That there is a need for microfinance in predominantly Islamic countries is taken as a given by most, yet providing sharia-compliant microfinance seems to be beyond many financial institutions. So what can be done? James King investigates.
Bursa Malaysia is the leading global centre for Islamic capital markets. Its chief executive tells James King that the exchange is still looking to innovate, with expanding the borders of Islamic finance a key priority.
After a false start, Islamic banking has become the fastest growing segment of the Pakistani banking industry, with the full support of the government. Apart from the ever-present challenge of liquidity management, most local Islamic bankers agree that their most important task now is to build awareness in the country.
The growth of 'hard' currency sukuk issuance is pushing the market to the next level, as new issuers and new investors flock to the sharia-compliant finance space to capitalise on the growth prospects of emerging economies in the Gulf and Asia.
The past year has seen a number of firsts in the Islamic finance industry, including the first sovereign sukuk from the West. This represents a huge step forward for an industry previously considered niche. Islamic players now must consolidate on these gains by broadening their product offerings, expanding their customer bases and targeting new levels of interoperability with global markets.
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