The Islamic finance industry's growth has continued to defy global economic malaise in 2012. And, with more government interest, increasingly complex products and a large untapped customer base, future forecasts are no longer concerned with the industry's ability to continue growing but instead are focusing on the more complex issue of how it will evolve.
Top Islamic financial institutions
The steady growth of sharia-compliant assets suggests banks believe in the future of the sector, but the dismantling of the largest cross-border Islamic window raises questions about whether global banking groups can make a success of the business.
Malaysia leads the world in providing a sharia-compliant environment for savings. CIMB Islamic's Badlisyah Abdul Ghani charts the rise of Islamic finance since its founding in the country 50 years ago.
Islamic finance is increasingly being viewed as a credible alternative to conventional finance, but Hussain Al-Qemzi, group chief executive of Dubai-based Noor Investment Group and chief executive of Noor Islamic Bank, recognises that Islamic institutions must work together if they are to compete with conventional banks.
The Arab Spring uprisings have brought change on an unprecedented scale to north Africa over the past couple of years, but what impact have these changes had upon the region's appetite for Islamic finance?
Despite holding core values of social and economic development, questions remain about how beneficial Islamic finance has been for the majority of the Arab world. Could the emergence of crowd-funding platforms help to generate a more equitable distribution of wealth?