Islamic Banking

Islamic Finance Assets To Reach $1.6 Trillion By 2012 - Report

Tom Burroughes, Editor, London, 9 April 2009

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Assets of the global Islamic finance industry, including a growing wealth management sector in this field, are estimated to grow to around $1.6 trillion by 2012, a report by consultancy Oliver Wyman said, according to media reports.

The report said growth opportunities lie in underpenetrated markets with large Muslim populations awaiting better Islamic finance products in the Middle East,
Pakistan and
South East Asia.

Islamic finance has grown by over 20 per cent annually over the past years and estimates of its current assets range from $700 billion to $1 trillion.

Wealth management firms have been exploiting the growth of a large an increasingly affluent Muslim population with a requirement for products that comply with Shariah law, which prohibits interest and investment in activities such as gambling.

As WealthBriefing exclusively reported earlier this year, Bank of London and The Middle East, a Shariah-compliant wholesale bank in the

UK, is launching a private banking business, for example. BLME Private Banking provides Islamic finance solutions to high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs and their corporations in the
UK, Europe and
Middle East.

The report by Oliver Wyman said most institutions are far from taking full advantage of that growth as they lack both an understanding of the opportunities and the required operational capabilities.

It said Islamic wholesale banking, the industry's most important sector, needs to diversify from real estate loans and ordinary lending to include advanced treasury services, innovative asset management, balance sheet management and securitisation management.

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