While there is always excitement over emerging markets and new frontiers – and understandably so, as Islamic finance expands its boundaries and extends it global reach – it is sometimes easy to forget the core markets in which the foundations of the industry are rooted and from which much of the funding to drive this growth is derived. This week our cover story revisits the stalwart of Saudi Arabia, the world’s second-largest Islamic finance economy, taking a look at the newest excitements in the market – and why it has got investors all worked up.
Following on from this, our IFN reports this week continue the theme; with an analysis of the growing synergies in GCC equity markets; along with a look at the growing ties between the Islamic stronghold of the Middle East and new territories including eastern Europe, central Asia and Africa. We also cover the fragmenting nature of the Shariah advisory sector; the new frontier of the bitcoin currency; and the latest short-term issuance from IILM. Our sector analysis explores the vital issue of liquidity in Islamic markets while our country analysis covers new developments in Libya and, remaining on the theme of new markets, our case study presents the Oman’s maiden Sukuk issuance from Tilal Development Company.
This issue as always brings you the best of expert industry analysis from around the world: and this week we have IFN Correspondent Reports from Belgium, Morocco, Kenya and Nigeria as well as Sector Reports on the Islamic debt capital market in Europe and regulation in Asia. Our features this week also focus on the Middle East, Africa and Europe: with a special report from K&L Gates on Islamic Development Bank (IDB) assistance for private sector growth in Africa as well as a feature from Auwalu Ado of Jaiz Bank on Shariah compliant liquidity instruments in Nigeria. Michael Katounas and Hassan Ismail of QInvest provide a valuable discussion on the MENA IPO market; while Bishr Shiblaq of Arendt & Medernach takes us through Islamic microfinance and retail in Europe.
As we enter the last month of the year we wish everyone a productive final quarter and all the best in whatever seasonal festivities you may celebrate.