The global Islamic funds market has expanded by over 300% over the last decade, now totalling some $200 billion in assets under management (Shutterstock).

Islamic Finance

Newswrap: Islamic Finance

A summary of the latest Islamic finance news from around the world.


Islamic funds market expands by 300% over a decade 

The global Islamic funds market has expanded by over 300% over the last decade, now totalling some $200 billion in assets under management, according to the Bahrain-based General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), Reuters reported. Saudi Arabia has the most assets under management in the Islamic funds market, followed by Iran and Malaysia, according to the report, Reuters noted. It added that Malaysia has the highest number of funds at 401, followed by Indonesia with 209 and Saudi Arabia with 183. There are 1,508 Islamic funds globally, operated by 345 Islamic financial institutions in 29 countries, CIBAFI said.

Emirates Islamic Bank reports net profit of $224 million 

Emirates Islamic Bank (EIB) reported a profit of AED 823 million ($224 million) last year, a 20% year-on-year increase, according to Zawya. Customer financing was recorded at AED 42.6 billion ($11.59 bn), an increase of 4% from 2020 while customer deposits were at AED 47.3 billion ($12.87), an increase of 1% from 2020 with CASA balances at 78% of total deposits, according to figures published by Zawya. The bank said one of its major achievements was the successful issuance of a $500 million five-year Sukuk. 

Fitch forecasts Islamic finance growth in Nigeria

Nigeria’s Islamic finance industry is forecast to continue to grow in 2022-2023, according to Fitch Ratings. This growth will be driven by sukuk issuance by the federal government, asset growth by newly-established Islamic banks, and enabling regulations, Fitch said. It warned however that the industry needs to address challenges including “the limited bottom-up public demand for Islamic products, low awareness, and the still-developing regulatory and debt capital market infrastructure in Nigeria.” The Nigerian Islamic finance industry was estimated to be valued at $2.3 billion by end-2021, according to Fitch. Outstanding sukuk was the largest segment at 66%, followed by Islamic banks at 32% (total assets), and the remaining 2% between Islamic funds (total assets) and takaful (total contributions), Fitch said. 

Malaysia’s Al Rajhi Bank chooses Thought Machine to build Islamic digital bank

Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia (ARBM) has selected Thought Machine, the cloud banking technology firm, to build a new digital bank in 2022 with a range of retail and SME financial services, such as savings and financing products, IBS Intelligence reported. ARBM, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the world’s largest Islamic bank by assets, Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank, will deploy Thought Machine’s core banking engine, Vault, to design, launch and manage a full suite of products on a single, clear architecture, according to IBS Intelligence.

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