Islamic finance is an interesting dichotomy, with its feet firmly planted in centuries-old concepts while its modern-day growth and innovation often place it at the very forefront of global financial market development. This week we look at its placement, positioning and progress in Europe – another compelling contradiction between the old and the new, and a region whose roots may be buried in the mists of antiquity but whose position on the global stage cannot be underestimated. Islamic finance may have in the past struggled to gain much traction in the wider region but, as we learn in our cover story, that may all be about to change.
Change is an essential component of growth, and Islamic finance is an industry that exemplifies this edict. In our IFN reports this week, we bring you a wide variety of analysis – from Securities Commission Malaysia’s new framework for wholesale products to education and Iraq; while our IFN correspondents update you on the happenings in the UAE, Turkey and Hong Kong as well as in private equity and venture capital. Our features come to you from Bank Islami Pakistan, Universiti Tun Razak and Markfield Institute of Higher Education as well as Takaful Re, while our special reports cover the new qualified foreign investor rules for Tadawul by Simmons & Simmons and ESG finance by ISRA as well as a discourse on Riba from FAAIF.
Change may be essential but so are the immutable traditions of faith and observance. As Ramadan approaches and we move into a period of reflection, contemplation and self-accountability, IFN wishes all our readers a rewarding month of fasting.