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IFN Oman Forum 2021

IFN Annual Guide 2021

The storm shall pass

Volatility is built into the DNA of the financial markets and while we may embrace and live by this truth, nothing could have prepared us for what 2020 unleashed.

To say that the COVID-19 pandemic ground the world to a halt is perhaps not an overstatement. Economies paralyzed, borders shut, governments scrambling to find a solution as the number of infectious cases and deaths continued to climb – such chaos at such a scale, is unprecedented.

One year on since the coronavirus bared its fangs, we are still navigating this “new” normal, with many still hoping to return to pre-pandemic normalcy – although that is unlikely, at least not for a few years as the damage caused has been so severe.

It has been a painfully challenging year, with lives and livelihoods lost. For the optimistic, it has been a period of real test of the industry’s resilience; and resilient the industry has been.

If we look at the Sukuk asset class, the industry’s poster child: we see that the market showcased encouraging figures with more Sukuk issued in the first three quarters of 2020 at US$130 billion against the same period in 2019. The return on investment-grade dollar Sukuk until November 2020 was about two percentage points higher than the average annualized return for five-year papers. And if anything, the pandemic has been a much-needed trigger to catalyze the growth of sustainable Sukuk, with governments (such as Malaysia and Indonesia) and multilateral organizations such as the IsDB going to market with landmark offerings designed specifically to combat the fallout of COVID-19.

For the Islamic banking sector, like its conventional counterpart, it has been wrestling with deteriorating asset quality and tighter liquidity. Yet, Islamic banks are still posting growth, albeit at a lower level. And more significantly, the pandemic has compelled Islamic banks to expedite their digital strategy, deploying and adopting technology at a pace which would not have been possible without COVID.

Despite a global oil price crash, a deadly virus, and messy geopolitical developments, Islamic funds have been impressive at garnering more traction: mid-November 2020 data shows that global Shariah funds assets under management grew above US$165 billion from 2019’s US$105 billion. And as expected, at a time when risks and uncertainties have become center stage in our lives, the appreciation for Takaful insurance as a risk management instrument has deepened across many markets.

It is incredibly easy to focus on the bad rather than the good – it is almost human nature to do so. But to manage any calamity and turmoil, hope, optimism and gratitude are of crucial importance. Thankfully, the industry – which we have continuously engaged – is keeping its chin up, and is seeing rays of opportunity in this dark storm.

The industry has benefited from rapid digitalization and ‘fintechization’; the role of Islamic finance – particularly philanthropic and Shariah social finance instruments – as a tool for financial inclusion and to meet development needs has been vindicated; and the confluence of ethical and Islamic finance has never been stronger.

Nobody is denying that 2021 will be another challenging year nor that it will be a long journey to recovery – as elaborated by the many experts who have authored and shared their projections for the industry in this seminal publication. But many, backed by historical data and recent performance, firmly believe in the value, resilience and solidarity of the industry; and together, we will weather this storm as we have always done.

Vineeta Tan
Managing Editor
IFN

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Content in IFN Annual Guide 2021

UK: Cautious asset allocation and stock picking in 2021

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Can the GCC debt capital markets make an impact?

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Fintechs to reset for growth beyond COVID-19

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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The resurrection of Islamic finance in Mauritius

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Morocco: A challenging start for Islamic finance

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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New Zealand: Idyllic for Islamic finance

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Nigeria: Making the best of it

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Offshore centers continue to feature prominently in Islamic financing transactions

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Oman: Resilient in the face of unprecedent challenges

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic finance in Pakistan remains resilient to pandemic

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Palestine: A promising investment avenue for Islamic finance

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Forging ahead with Islamic banking

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Qatar: Hope in uncertain times

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Online format for Islamic financial instruments in Russia

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Saudi Arabia under rapid transformation

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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The impact of Islamic finance in times of a health crisis in Senegal

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Singapore: Slow but steady progress

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Ethical investing is key in the current climate of South Africa

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Sri Lanka: Pearl of the Indian Ocean

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Growing Islamic finance in Tanzania

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic finance resilience in Tunisia is still under pressure

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Regulatory landscape and Shariah governance in Turkey

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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UAE: Islamic finance records healthy growth despite challenges

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic finance in the US remains a niche sector

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Opportunities and expectations for Islamic finance in Uzbekistan

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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The storm shall pass

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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2021: Can the COVID-19 crisis help shape our economies for future growth?

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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AAOIFI’s achievements in 2020 and future initiatives

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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IFSB’s achievements in 2020

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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IIFM activities in 2020-21

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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IILM increases issuance program size to US$4 billion for more Shariah compliant liquidity management instruments

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Optimism and caution for equity capital markets in 2021

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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The obvious roadmap, or is it? Thoughts on strategic drivers for 2020 and beyond

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Mind the gap: As SDG financing gap widens, we must harness the power of science, technology and innovation

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Building a stronger and more sustainable world together

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Advancing sustainable finance in Malaysia – the year in review

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Interview: Moawia Ahmed Elamin, CEO of Faisal Islamic Bank, Sudan

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Market outlook on Islamic accounting

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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A bird’s eye view of global Islamic agricultural financing

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Fasten your seatbelts — successfully navigating the turbulence

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic fintech and crowdfunding

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Cybersecurity in a pandemic era for Islamic finance

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Riding the pandemic wave

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Derivatives in Islamic banking

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic finance education adapts to change in new normal

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Smarter to travel in groups

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic family offices moving toward recovery

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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A view on the future of corporate and financial institutions Sukuk

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Economic uncertainty in 2020 and the dual nature of gold

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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A wake-up call for the Halal industry

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic finance and healthcare: A relationship worth investing in?

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic finance growth to continue with adoption of index-based investing

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic pension funds: The next big thing in Islamic finance

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Renewed emphasis on learning and talent development

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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An exceptionally good year

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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A global survey of Islamic wealth management

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Banking industry in Afghanistan stays positive for 2021 with more achievements expected

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Regulation of Islamic finance operations in Algeria

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Legal and regulatory aspects of Islamic finance and banking

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic leasing: An intrinsic antidote to stimulate economic recovery

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Economic darkness in Australia with glimpses of light for Islamic finance and investment

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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COVID-19 disruptions on liquidity management of Islamic financial institutions

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic banks continue to be the catalyst for Islamic M&A deals

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Bahrain: Consolidating change through resilience and innovations

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic microfinance critical for economic recovery: A micro and small enterprise perspective

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic venture capital on the way up, Islamic private equity on the way out

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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The Islamic project and infrastructure finance market

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Sovereign credit ratings of major Islamic economies

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic banking industry in Bangladesh: Trends and outlook

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Real estate: An enduring appeal

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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The compliance outlook for Islamic finance

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic finance-based renewable energy

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic retail asset management

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Diversifying approach in Islamic social finance

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Importance of an effective Shariah compliant repo market

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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What’s next for Islamic financial institutions in India

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Retail banking in 2020: Learnings and moving forward

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Risk management — liquidity under COVID-19 stress

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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A careful economy ahead for secondary markets

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic securitization pre- and post-COVID-19 era

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Interaction key to ensuring more harmonious Shariah rulings

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic banking helps Bosnia & Herzegovina cope with economic crisis

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Public–private partnership for Islamic SMEs to survive

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Brazil: A trade partner and investment destination

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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More sovereign Sukuk issuances expected next year

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Brunei Darussalam: Resiliency against the pandemic

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic impact finance in the context of COVID-19

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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COVID-19 did not stop the Islamic finance push for standardization

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Canada making strides in the world of Islamic finance

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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If you play rugby, you cannot follow football rules

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Higher Islamic syndicated financing volumes expected in 2021

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Central Africa: Traction and positive change expected in 2021 and beyond

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Takaful in Asia — every cloud has a silver lining

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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The rebirth of Takaful in Europe

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Tax: Increased transparency to open up cross-border dealings

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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China needs Islamic finance for Belt and Road Initiative

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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The evolving role of Islamic trade finance in the new normal

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Djibouti: Islamic investment center for East African region

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Emergence of ‘Robin Hood’ traders increases trading and brokerage activity

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Egyptian Sukuk industry leaps forward

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Gender disparity amid pandemic and technology

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Despite political noise, groundwork in the making for the long run in France

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Islamic fintech to play key role in German market

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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The push for Islamic finance development in Ghana

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Hong Kong diversifies Islamic finance prospects post-social and pandemic crises

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Indonesian Islamic finance to focus on retail market

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Reforms in Iran’s Shariah compliant financial system

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Ireland: Rise of sustainable finance to address climate change a unique opportunity for Islamic finance

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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An alternative financing opportunity in Italy

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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The Ivory Coast: Strengthening of regulatory framework for Islamic finance

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Digital pseudo-Sukuk to pave the way to better Islamic investments within Malta

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Sukuk as a feasible option for Japanese investors

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Cross-border Islamic financing in focus for Kazakhstan

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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2020: Kenya’s continued efforts in the Islamic finance sector

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Kyrgyzstan: Islamic finance to mobilize domestic resources and attract additional investments

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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A slow and uncertain progress for Islamic banks in Lebanon

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Luxembourg to play key role in renewed growth of Islamic finance on European continent

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Charting new heights for Malaysia’s Islamic finance landscape

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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Kuwait: Policy issues for developing the debt capital market

Saturday, 05 Dec 2020 | IFN Annual Guide 2021

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