Specialised Islamic banks to help attract more global businesses
Islamic banks specialising in specific sectors could help bring more international companies to the country, Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) CEO Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida said during the ‘International Conference on Islamic Finance’ held yesterday at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Islamic Studies.
In a keynote address, al-Jaida said, “Indeed, more miles should be crossed to unlock further potential of this industry, one of which is to enhance the growth of the Islamic banking sector by making it a strategic government priority, supported by initiatives and incentives, such as relaxed banking provisions, which have been implemented in Turkey.
“Establishing specialised Islamic banks focused on areas like energy, sustainable investment, and venture capital are anticipated to even attract more international business to Qatar.”
Citing QFC’s recently-published report, ‘Unlocking Cross-Border Opportunities’, al-Jaida said that globally, Islamic finance assets are forecast to be worth $3.2tn in 2020.
Al-Jaida said that despite relatively slow growth rate expected this year compared to the significant uptick of 10% in 2017, the Islamic finance industry “is poised to bolster in specific markets, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, in addition to Qatar, as stated by the S&P Global Rating.”
“In fact, Qatar’s total Islamic finance assets constitute 33% of the nation’s total financial system assets. This has been driven by a CAGR growth of 8% since 2015 to $129bn in the first half of 2019.
“You may have witnessed the steady moves that have been made over the past couple of years to further expand this industry’s activity. To name a few, the outstanding performance of the $1bn takaful sector, which outpaced conventional insurance, mainly driven by Qatari insurance operators,” he said, adding that the successful merger of IBQ and Barwa Bank created more solid Islamic finance-based institutions.
“Let us not forget the first Islamic exchange traded fund (ETF), managed by Al Rayan Investment, which is the largest ETF not just in Qatar but in the GCC, making our nation one of just nine jurisdictions to have so far made this Islamic ETFS,” he continued.—Gulf Times