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Singapore 2018

Singapore’s time to shine?

With its laissez-faire approach to Islamic finance, Singapore is almost a foil to Malaysia’s well-known top-down strategy. Shariah compliant financing activities have been sporadic and sparse and nowhere near the levels in neighboring Malaysia or Indonesia. But in the last two years, we’ve seen more movement on the ground: more foreign banks have begun opening dedicated Islamic finance desks in the city, leveraging Singapore’s international stature and infrastructure to tap international flows; more deals are being closed; and more Islamic fintech initiatives are being rolled out.

There is little doubt that there are industry players serious about building sustainable and sizeable Islamic finance businesses in Singapore, and the regulator is ready to listen.