Banks across the Arab world continue to perform well despite the turbulent political environment, according to The Banker’s Top 100 Arab banks ranking.
Latest articles from Bahrain
Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, has weathered economic and political uncertainty both at home and throughout the wider Middle Eastern region, and is now back on a path to growth, with its aviation holdings being at the forefront of this turnaround.
Bahrain's central bank has steered the country's banking sector through a period of economic and political turbulence. With strong fundamentals and ample growth prospects, particularly in the Islamic finance segment, the country's lenders are now in a good position, but their future growth still hinges on the country maintaining social stability.
Year upon year, the Islamic finance industry posts stellar growth figures. However, as large Western lenders withdraw from the sector, is Islamic finance in as healthy a shape as the figures suggest? The Banker asks a number of experts in the field what the future holds for sharia-compliant banking.
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.
The financial centres of Bahrain, Dubai and Qatar dominate the Gulf's economic sphere and despite some major regulatory changes, the region as a whole is becoming more attractive to international asset managers in search of investable wealth.
Arab banks offset the turmoil of the Arab Spring and offered a robust performance in 2011 with impressive growth across the key financial indicators. And with minimal exposure to the eurozone crisis, the region's banks are expected to continue their recovery from the global financial crisis.
In light of its ongoing political turmoil, many industry players have been quick to sound the death knell for Bahrain's status as the Middle East's financial hub but the country still holds many competitive advantages over its rivals.
Island kingdom Bahrain has opened a new Islamic exchange house and is launching innovative products to the market, such as an electronic trading platform, in an attempt to capture a bigger share of sharia-compliant assets. Writer Hafsa Kara