Complex Made Simple

Study: Islamic banks grow faster than conventional counterparts

Total Islamic banking assets in six main markets expected to hit $1.8 trillion by 2019

Islamic banks are growing faster than their conventional counterparts, but still focus on a limited number of core markets, according to a study made by EY.

The study’s report said that Islamic banks in six main markets (Qatar, Indonesia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the UAE and Turkey) gained $625 billion by end of 2013, which is equivalent to 80 per cent of the global Islamic finance market.

The ratio increased in Bahrain, Pakistan and Kuwait, but these estimates don’t include Iran, which is pursuing a unique model for Islamic finance, Saudi-based Al-Riyadh Newspaper reports.

The report expects that total Islamic banking assets in six main markets will hit $1.8 trillion by 2019.

Ashar Nazim, global Islamic finance leader at EY, says, “The main six markets represent 82 per cent of global sector and the ratio is expected to increase.”

He adds: “The Islamic banking sector is expected to achieve some gains in other markets like Egypt, Pakistan and North African countries like Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.”

Nazim also states, “This is an opportunity not to be repeated only once every 15 years for small Islamic banks to win a share in evolving trading markets.”

($1 = AED3.67, at the time of publishing)