Islamic Bank: Global asset worth 750bn US dollars

The global asset of Islamic banking industry has been estimated at 750 billion United States dollars, an Islamic financial expert and Chief Executive, Metropolitan Skills Ltd, Abuja, Hajia Ummahani Amin, has said.

She spoke in Kano at a workshop entitled: Fundamentals in Islamic Finance Workshop for International Islamic Economics and Management of Sciences Project. She observed that the quoted estimate above is without some major Sukuk issues and structured deals, which analysts estimate will run into trillions of dollars in the years to come.

She explained that Islamic banking practices have taken root in the Middle East and Malaysia, while adding that Europe and North America have recorded giant strides in offering Shariah acceptable products in an attempt to satiate an ever-increasing demand for interest-free banking and profitable returns that fall within the parameters of the Islamic law.

She maintained that the quest for Islamic banking is currently moving towards the African continent, pointing out that, at present, only a handful of countries in the continent have an effective Islamic banking infrastructure even though the scope of the section is immense.

She noted that, “in Nigeria, the banking system is about experiencing a proliferation of Islamic banks as the Central Bank of Nigeria is about to introduce new measures that will encourage and facilitate the existence of Islamic banks.”
She argued that Nigeria has an approximately 50 per cent Muslim population, adding that providing a banking framework that would be acceptable to their belief system would not only increase the bankable population but would bring about the benefits of social responsibility and economic empowerment.

She noted that the integration of Islamic Economics has been successfully implemented in Islamic schools in South Africa in the last two years while adding that Kenya, Tanzania and Mauritius have expressed interests in its implementation. She urged the Federal Government, which she said had taken interest in this project, to introduce the Islamic Economics in the educational policy of the country.

source : sunnewsonline

Can Islamic Finance go micro?

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With more than half-a-trillion dollars in assets and an annual growth rate that has outpaced conventional banks’ by nearly 50 percent, the Islamic finance industry is already making waves among investment fund managers. And this not only applies to the Muslim world: The Banker magazine recently named the United Kingdom to its list of the top 15 countries managing Sharia-compliant assets.

The new CGAP Publication Islamic Microfinance: An Emerging Market Niche argues that the Islamic finance industry, with its unprecedented popularity and growth, may be well-placed to address a critical need in microfinance: reaching the some 72 percent of people in Muslim-majority countries who do not use formal financial services.

 

Much of that gap owes to unmet demand for products that comply with Islamic law, or Sharia, according to Aamir A. Rehman, former Global Head of Strategy with HSBC Amanah

“Sharia compliance can help microfinance institutions reach a large number of Muslims who prefer Sharia-compliant forms of financial activity,” says Rehman. But he also adds that microfinance is “a fantastic opportunity for Islamic finance to reflect its core values and mission” of supporting the underprivileged.

This “win-win” situation is stimulating greater discussion between microfinance practitioners and practitioners of Islamic finance, who seek to draw upon the experience of a highly professionalized microfinance industry while acknowledging that there may be no turn-key solutions for Islamic financial services directed to poorer customers.

Soure : worldbank blog