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Moody's Launches New Group To Focus On Islamic Finance

Vanessa Doctor, Asia Correspondent, 23 May 2014

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Moody's Investors Service has created a new division that will focus solely on Islamic finance.

Moody's Investors Service has created a new division that will focus solely on Islamic finance, as the demand for credit ratings and research on the market grows.

The new Islamic Finance Group will deliver independent analyses of Shariah-compliant produts, financial institutions and takaful insurers to support an improved understanding of the sector, it said in a statement. The IFG will be chaired by Khalid Howladar, as global head of Islamic finance based in Dubai. Howladar has held various senior positions at the firm covering structured finance and financial institutions units since 2001.

The launch marks the growing importance of Islamic finance in international markets, particularly in the Middle East and Asia. In the region, Malaysia leads in terms of its share of new sukuk issuances and currently accounts for around 60 per cent of outstanding sukuk worldwide. Sukuk is the Islamic finance equivalent of bonds or financial certificates. 

Elsewhere in South East Asia, the growth of Islamic finance has been evident in Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei. Moody's said it expects this expansion to widen further with ongoing regulatory improvements and infrastructural development needs in emerging Asia. 

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