“Kuwait Finance House (KFH) values the vital role of the Islamic finance industry in terms of providing financing for infrastructure projects and for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). KFH contributes to engage Islamic financing in the global financial system notably in the light of the huge turnout on the Islamic financial services and the remarkable growth of this industry,” said KFH Chief Executive Officer, Mazin Al-Nahedh.
He added, on his participation in the SMEs session in the G20 Global Islamic Finance Conference that was held in Istanbul-Turkey under the theme of “Benefits and Challenges” that total global Islamic finance assets; Takaful assets, Islamic funds and sukuk outstanding surpassed USD 2 tln, supported by a strong growth of banking assets.
He noted that GCC and MENA markets account for 80 per cent of global Islamic assets, with retail powering the growth. He continued “RE and construction and trade represent the largest sectors while SMEs currently account for around 2 per cent across GCC, however future plans are already set in all MENA countries in order to enable SMEs greater access to finance for their impact on economic growth and contributions in increasing the GDP. Especially that the SMEs sector is seen in the developed countries as the growth engine and incubator of ideas, and is being encouraged in the GCC and MENA through government support programs.
Al-Nahedh revealed that KFH’s current SME portfolio provides banking services to a plethora of companies. He anticipated that the portfolio will likely double within the next two years.
Moreover, he said that Islamic financing offers a wide range of financial instruments which can be leveraged effectively to support SMEs’ needs, indicating that fast and agile access to financing and innovation in technology are the key factors to better serve SMEs. He reiterated that Islamic finance is able to meet the financing needs of SMEs thanks to the liquidity available and the risk management competencies to finance projects on the different phases.
It is worth noting that the conference brought together prominent figures in the fields of economics and finance, researchers from different Islamic countries, and high profile Islamic financial institutions amid huge turnout of those interested in Islamic finance industry.