Islamic finance assets likely to reach $3.24 trillion by 2020

Updated 30 August 2015
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Islamic finance assets likely to reach $3.24 trillion by 2020

DUBAI: The value of assets in the Islamic finance sector is expected to increase by 80 percent over the next five years, reaching $3.24 trillion in value by 2020, according to initial findings garnered from the upcoming State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) report.
The report, which is commissioned and supported by Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre in partnership with Thomson Reuters, and in collaboration with DinarStandard, will be published ahead of the second Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES), which is taking place in Dubai this October.
The 2015 summit, organized by Dubai Chamber, the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and Thomson Reuters, is set to gather over 2,000 policymakers, thinkers and business leaders on Oct. 5 and 6, at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.
Islamic Finance is considered the most developed sector within the various pillars of the Islamic economy. The growth in the global Shariah-compliant economy is broadly measured by the value of Islamic Finance assets.
In 2014, Islamic Finance assets had an estimated value of $1.8 trillion, with Islamic banking representing 74 percent of total Shariah-compliant assets, followed by 16 percent in outstanding sukuk based on ICD Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI 2015).
According to Thomson Reuters’ projections, Islamic finance is expected to grow to reach $3.2 trillion by 2020, with Islamic banking constituting $2.6 trillion of this figure.
The total number of Islamic financial institutions operating globally has reached 1,143, divided between 436 Islamic banks or windows, 308 takaful institutions and 399 other Islamic financial institutions, such as financing and investment companies.
Most of these Islamic finance institutions are located in the GCC countries and Southeast Asia, while the others are distributed between other MENA countries, South Asia and other regions. Most Islamic finance assets are held by Saudi Arabia, Iran, Malaysia and the UAE.
As global acceptance of Islamic finance continues to grow, more corporates and non-Muslim sovereigns are announcing Islamic finance initiatives such as ethical or Shariah-compliant regulations, as well as products such as sukuk issuances.
This increased appetite demonstrates that the market is attracted to the benefits surrounding the ethical principles of Islamic finance, linking finance to physical assets, productive fiscal activities and real economic growth.
One of the key morning sessions at GIES 2015 will discuss the importance and relevance of the Islamic economy’s broader sectors to Islamic finance, featuring a debate by Tirad Al-Mahmoud, Jamal bin Ghalaita and Adnan Chilwan, the respective CEOs of leading Islamic banks ADIB, Emirates Islamic and Dubai Islamic bank.
The CEOs debate will be followed by one of the key sessions of the summit, covering how Islamic financial institutions have moved from niche to mainstream by being part of the global agenda.
The session will discuss whether Islamic financial institutions can meet the needs of people who are financially excluded solely for religious reasons, and whether Islamic finance can act as a financial inclusion mechanism for non-Muslims.
GIES 2015 is taking place with the support of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.
Featuring more than 60 international speakers across 15 sessions, the summit will offer comprehensive insights on the seven core pillars within the Islamic economy: Islamic finance, halal industry, family tourism, Islamic knowledge, Islamic arts and design, Islamic digital economy, and Islamic standards.


Foreign investment in Bahrain rising sharply, authorities say

Updated 25 September 2018
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Foreign investment in Bahrain rising sharply, authorities say

DUBAI: New foreign direct investment in Bahrain more than doubled in the first nine months of 2018 as the kingdom marketed itself as a base for companies to access the region, especially Saudi Arabia, data released on Tuesday showed.
Investment commitments between January and September jumped 138 percent from a year ago to a record $810 million from 76 firms, said the Economic Development Board, an investment promotion agency. That compared to $733 million in all of 2017, and was over five times the amount of FDI in 2015.
The rise in FDI is good news for Bahrain’s balance of payments, which has been under pressure as the kingdom runs fiscal and current account deficits fueled by low oil prices.
The central bank’s net foreign reserves hit a one-year low of 499.4 million dinars ($1.32 billion) in July, although they rebounded to 734.2 million dinars last month.
Manufacturing and logistics accounted for most foreign investment in the first nine months of this year, the EDB said. Some companies are locating operations in Bahrain to take advantage of reforms in Saudi Arabia, which aims to develop non-oil industries such as mining, light manufacturing and tourism.
Bahrain also wants to become a center for financial technology; last year it created a “regulatory sandbox” allowing companies in the field to experiment without facing normal regulatory constraints.
This year it established a $100 million fund of funds to support technology start-ups across the region, which it hopes will attract venture capital firms to Bahrain.