Islamic finance is gaining momentum, not only in Islamic countries but also in Western countries such as the UK—and not only among Muslims. Brexit is guaranteed to affect Islamic banking’s continuing development in the UK, but will the EU divorce be an advantage or disadvantage for the relatively nascent Sharia-compliant industry? Much will depend on how the negotiations play out.
As the Muslim population grows worldwide so does the demand for Sharia-compliant finance. Even in areas in which Muslims do not yet make up the majority, there is a strong demand for this type of niche financing, particularly for real-estate investment; understanding the main structures of Islamic finance that are integral to real-estate transactions are guaranteed to grow in relevance.
After several years of rather unspectacular market activity, gold came roaring back in 2016. The year saw investment demand for the precious metal rise by 70 percent, while gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) experienced their second-highest inflow of investor interest on record.
The lack of ethics in human behavior combined with total ignorance about how complex financial markets function have led to a buildup of imbalances in the global financial system, exposing it to a series of serious cracks recently.
Over the past few years, it has seemed that there are very few growth opportunities for the banking sector. Islamic finance is an exciting new prospect for a number of geographic regions and their respective banking sectors—with banks in the UK and
In this article I will be touching on certain issues that I consider pertinent and relevant to our efforts to further the global cause and development of Islamic finance and banking.
Malaysia has a well-established and recognised competitive advantage in Islamic finance that is continually strengthened by the operational environment of progressive regulation, favourable tax regimes and, most importantly, supportive authorities within the country. Over the last five years, the Islamic banking assets within Malaysia’s banking industry have almost doubled, expanding from RM303 billion (US $93 billion) at the end of December 2009 to RM557 billion (US $171 billion) at the end of December 2013.
While business activities in line with the provisions and principles of Sharia have been a feature in the Arab world for over a millennium, recent years have seen the emergence of modern Islamic finance that has established itself as an important component of regional economies. As new geographies continue to open up, industry forecasts suggest that modern Islamic finance will continue to enjoy a solid and vertical growth fuelled by greater acceptance and surging demand for ethical financial products.
Islamic banking is gaining momentum in traditional as well as non-traditional markets and the industry is likely to maintain the current trajectory in the foreseeable future. In many regions, Islamic banking has evolved from being an emerging ethical niche market into being part of the mainstream financial services landscape.