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Oman 2019

The Omani Islamic finance industry is at a crossroads: after years of stellar double-digit growth since its impressive start a short six years ago, it is the expectation of market participants for the expansion level to moderate moving forward as macroeconomic pressures weigh on while the industry irons out some regulatory kinks which may redefine the Shariah banking landscape. We are once again pleased to be producing the IFN Oman Report, which provides an overview of the market and key insights into the exciting Omani Islamic finance sector.
Tuesday, 23 Apr 2019

Global Islamic Fintech Report 2018

The song of the industry at the moment is ostensibly one of disruption instigated by fintech, but listen closely and you will realize that the industry is instead singing a tune of collaboration. Like any traditional financial institutions, Islamic financial institutions are bogged down by legacy issues, bureaucratic inertia and operational inefficiencies, while being additionally disadvantaged in terms of economies of scale. Industry practitioners are increasingly embracing the fintech ‘revolution’ to drive their next phase of growth. These were major themes at the inaugural Global Islamic Fintech Huddle which took...
Thursday, 14 Feb 2019

IFN Annual Guide 2019

The best of times, the worst of times The end of the year is once again upon us, and the last 12 months seem to have flashed past at the speed of light – it seems just a few short weeks ago that we were starting out in January with hope in our hearts and a spring in our step, high off the back of a strong year for Sukuk and an even stronger surge of sovereign issuance. So did that optimism translate into reality? 2018 was, as ever, a...
Wednesday, 30 Jan 2019

Kuwait 2018

Kuwait may be a nation of only four million, but its Islamic banking and finance prowess is formidable. It holds the fifth largest concentration of Shariah banking assets in the world and with a 39% domestic Islamic finance market share, it is one of only 11 countries identified by the IFSB where Islamic finance has achieved systemic importance.
Tuesday, 15 Jan 2019

IFN Gold Report 2018

The AAOIFI Shariah Standard on Gold ushered in a new era for gold in Islamic finance. This report explores the impact of the standard on the industry, taking a look at new products, opportunities and the game-changing role the yellow metal can play.
Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018

IFN Investors Report 2018

There is no denying that Halal investments are becoming a global phenomenon, yet it is also a fact that many investors, including Muslims, are still unfamiliar what Shariah investments entail. The pervasive misconception and lack of public awareness continue to be a hurdle for the sector, compelling many Islamic investment managers to reinvent themselves. One major transformation, or transition rather, is that managers and service providers are aligning themselves with the ESG/SRI movement. We are also seeing industry participants exploring new distribution channels and strategies with technology at the core of...
Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018

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....
Thursday, 22 Nov 2018

Indonesia 2018

Strength in numbers Under the leadership of President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, the Republic sees Islamic finance as a key pillar in its Halal industry agenda as it looks to build a complete Halal value chain for the country. Steering the efforts are three overarching strategies: strengthen Halal economic segments, enhance the efficiency of Islamic markets and deepen research in Islamic finance and related industries to support the first two strategies. It is with great delight we bring you the IFN Indonesia Report which details key highlights of the IFN Indonesia...
Wednesday, 14 Nov 2018

Turkey 2018

All aboard the Turkish train The rising star of the global Islamic finance industry, Turkey continues to push the sector with forward-thinking policies and measures which attracted new players to the fold and facilitated new products. The Eurasian nation, however, is operating in a decidedly more challenging environment as compared to two years ago. President Recep Erdogan has to deal with rising dissatisfaction against his administration which culminated in street protests, scramble to reassure investors and the fi nancial markets following a collapse of the lira while maintaining bilateral ties...
Friday, 09 Nov 2018

UK 2018

The UK: Undisputed champion of the west It is with great delight that we introduce the inaugural IFN UK Report, an insightful review of the Islamic finance landscape in the UK exploring its performance, prospects,challenges and opportunities for future growth and development. Establishing itself as the foremost capital of Islamic finance in the western world, the UK has proven itself a center of excellence with its sophisticated financial infrastructure,robust regulatory environment and world-class minds. Despite the Brexit cloud looming over the country, London is still confident it will maintain its...
Friday, 26 Oct 2018

Morocco 2018

Morocco means business. Over the last two years, the Kingdom has introduced a raft of regulations, welcomed fully-fledged Islamic banks, facilitated the engineering of new Islamic financial products and is not showing any signs of slowing down. The Muslim nation has already signaled its intent to enter the sovereign Sukuk space and authorities are readying a pipeline of measures to keep the development momentum going. But like in any fledgling market, there are kinks to iron out in Morocco. Following a rewarding and successful IFN Morocco Forum, we have carefully...
Wednesday, 25 Jul 2018

Australia 2018

The Islamic finance narrative in Australia is one of potential and hope. The rising affluence of the growing Muslim minority and the expanding pool of social-conscious and ethical investors in parallel to the increasing appetite for Australian investment opportunities from major Islamic finance markets make the Land Down Under an interesting proposition for Shariah-sensitive finance. This has led to a steady emergence of homegrown Islamic financial institutions and foreign-owned entities strategically positioning themselves in Australia to capture inward Middle Eastern and Asian investment flow.Yet, products remain limited and without the...
Tuesday, 10 Jul 2018

IFN World Cup Report

As the 21st FIFA World Cup kicks off, we are delighted to launch the first-ever IFN World Cup, a light-hearted contest to accompany the 2018 cup final stages — pitting country against country in a battle based on finance, not football. Who will emerge the winner in a competition that values Shariah compliance over sporting prowess, bond issuance over ball skills, Takaful over tackling and regulations over referees? Follow us as we take you on a nail-biting journey to determine the 2018 IFN World Cup winner for Islamic finance!
Friday, 29 Jun 2018

Oman 2018

The enthusiasm for Islamic finance in the Sultanate is almost unparalleled and, coupled with a great thirst for innovation, ingenuity and improvement, we have seen Oman rise rapidly in stature in the regional league of Islamic finance in a relatively short period of time.  From banking to Takaful to Sukuk, the Sultanate has managed to maintain healthy double-digit growth since the formal introduction of Shariah compliant finance less than a decade ago. This is, of course, greatly facilitated by strong support from the regulators. Yet, it isn’t always hunky-dory - there are...
Thursday, 28 Jun 2018

IFN World Leaders Report 2018

With the growth of Shariah assets declining for the first time in decades, heightened market uncertainties triggered by escalating geopolitical risks, divergent economic policies and the Dana Gas debacle, as well as the ongoing fintech revolution, the IF World Leaders Summit was indeed a timely addition to the REDmoney Events calendar. Thanks to the support of our partners and the stellar lineup of speakers, the Summit was a success, becoming an invaluable platform for honest conversations, real debate and brainstorming on the most important issues in the Islamic finance industry.
Tuesday, 12 Jun 2018

Asia 2018

What a time it is for Islamic finance in Asia! Malaysia may be the bastion of Shariah finance but we are also seeing stars being born in the region. It is in this backdrop, we bring you the inaugural IFN Asia Report, featuring exclusive insights and discussions from the IFN Asia Forum 2018 as well as expert analysis from industry leaders, in addition to a number of market reports exploring the development, challenges and opportunities of the Islamic finance industry in Asia.
Thursday, 07 Jun 2018

Awards Report 2017

Bringing you the best As the year gets into full swing, IFN is once again delighted to bring you our annual Awards Report, detailing the very best of 2017 and listing the top performers and leading players in every category across our four industry-leading awards: Deals of the Year, Best Banks, Service Providers and Law. Last year was another exceptional year for Islamic finance, with innovations and advances across the global marketplace, and we are honored and proud to yet again recognize, reward and respect all the dedicated stakeholders who...
Monday, 30 Apr 2018

IFN Annual Guide 2018

A turbulent year winds to close with hope on the horizon 2017 is drawing to a close, the frenetic activity of the fourth quarter is winding down and the holiday season is upon us once again. This year has been marked by major events and signposted by scandal, but despite the ongoing pressures we have witnessed an industry both resilient and robust, contributing to positive performance across multiple asset classes. The strength and sophistication of the global Islamic finance markets is displayed to impressive effect in the 2017 edition of...
Thursday, 21 Dec 2017

Awards Report 2016

Once again, IFN is delighted to announce our annual awards issue, which recognizes and unites the exceptional performance of so many sterling players within the Islamic financial industry and across the global financial markets. From banks to law firms, Sukuk issuers to service providers, this guide brings you the very best in show from the movers and shakers who are stirring up the sector and surging forward with innovation, dedication and inspiration.
Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017

Trump and Brexit Special Feature

KHALID HOWLADAR writes on Islamic finance or, to use his preferred and more inclusive term, ‘Participation finance’, as it is the dramatic political upsets of 2016 – the UK’s decision to exit the EU on the 23rd of June and the election of Donald Trump on the 8th November, that signal the ongoing wealth ‘exclusion’ is going too far and which has encouraged him to write on the topic with the hope of provoking further debate and promoting what he feels is actually an ‘old’ form of inclusive capitalism.
Tuesday, 14 Mar 2017

Turkey 2016

It is with great delight that we launch the inaugural IFN Turkey Report, an insightful review of the Turkish Islamic finance landscape exploring its performance, prospects, challenges and opportunities for future growth and development. Turkey has always been a bright spot for Islamic finance and the Republic continues to demonstrate strong political will to advance its participation finance industry by supporting development with various legislative and regulatory initiatives and top-down measures. Yet, it has not always been an easy journey for the Eurasian country, with 2016 bringing unexpected and unforeseen...
Thursday, 22 Dec 2016

IFN Annual Guide 2017

The markets are winding down and the festive season is fast approaching. But with a year once again marked by political turmoil and turbulent trends, performance has been subdued and prices precarious. Against this backdrop of uncertainty, our comprehensive and industry-renowned Annual Guide brings you a comprehensive overview of the past 12 months — shining a spotlight on the global Islamic finance industry and the opportunities and challenges it has faced throughout the course of 2016. The year has been a challenging one, following on as it did from the...
Friday, 16 Dec 2016

Oman 2016

We are pleased to welcome the first-ever IFN Oman Report: a comprehensive exploration of the Islamic finance industry in Oman, its prospects for growth, and the opportunities and challenges presented along the way.  The Islamic finance industry in Oman has generated strong interest from both international and domestic players, and sustained support from regulators and authorities has contributed toward the development of a robust, unique and rapidly growing sector that has already exceeded initial expectations. The country has already made its mark on the global Islamic finance market, with valuable...
Thursday, 12 May 2016

Awards Report 2015

It’s that time of year again, and I am delighted to present to you the IFN Awards Guide 2015-16, bringing you a roundup of the top performers across the Islamic finance industry over the last 12 months. With five divisions and over 70 winners, the IFN awards as always cover a comprehensive cross-section of the market and recognize the best of the best in the fields of law, asset management, service providers, banks and deals of the year. One of the most prestigious accolades in the Islamic financial markets, the...
Wednesday, 30 Mar 2016

IFN Annual Guide 2016

Once again the close of the year has come around more quickly than we ever thought possible, and it is time again for our annual review and outlook of the Islamic finance industry with a comprehensive overview of the highs, lows, peaks and troughs of the last 12 months – and what turbulent months they have been.  The euphoric highs of 2014 saw an explosion of non-Muslim sovereign issuances push Islamic finance into the mainstream public eye and record Sukuk volumes drive the sector forward amid strong interest, robust retail...
Wednesday, 09 Dec 2015

Islamic Asset & Wealth Management: Pakistan

Pakistan came into inception about 50 years ago. However, it remained confined to public sector entities until the early 1990s. The first mutual fund was launched in 1962 when the National Investment (Unit) Trust was set up. In the early 1990s, many investment advisory companies were set up in the private sector offering closed-end mutual funds and in 1995, open-end funds were allowed in the private sector for the first time.
Friday, 09 Oct 2015

IFN Annual Guide 2015

In this edition of the Islamic Finance news Guide 2015, we bring our valued readers a comprehensive summary of the peaks and troughs following an eventful year for the industry. Covering 41 countries across every major Islamic market & asset class, this issue of the IFN Guide also traverses the global Islamic financial landscape: covering 28 diverse sectors of debt capital markets, leasing, microfinance, crowdfunding, legal frameworks, quantitative easing, Takaful, technology and hedging. We hope, as always, that you find it a rewarding read, and we look forward to providing...
Thursday, 12 Mar 2015

Awards Report 2014

Welcome to the 2014-15 edition of the IFN Awards Guide, a bumper issue of deals, case studies and analysis of the top deals, transactions, movers and shakers of the previous year. The past year has been seminal for the growth and development of the industry worldwide, and the Shariah compliant capital markets have taken a number of groundbreaking strides forward supported by both the sovereign and corporate sectors. We have seen new regions such as Africa break into the market, and a study of the benchmark CFA100 billion issuance from...
Monday, 02 Mar 2015

IFN Capital Markets Guide 2014

It’s been quite a year for the Islamic capital markets, and with a line of landmark deals marching their way through the months of 2014 there can no longer be any doubt of the position the sector holds as the golden child of the Islamic finance industry. The Shariah compliant capital markets this year have not only grown in terms of size and sophistication but have made strides in global reach, mainstream acceptance and investor demand. Increasingly innovative structures to meet the complex treasury demands of both financial and corporate...
Monday, 01 Dec 2014

IFN Service Providers Guide 2014

As we end the third quarter, the markets recover from the summer lull and Ramadan recedes into the distance, we are seeing a spate of new deals and renewed activity: including an increasing number of benchmark issues and landmark transactions that demonstrate the evolving innovation and sophistication of the Islamic finance industry. None of this would be possible however, without the exceptional platform of support from the service providers that assist the sector in its onward march. From standard-setting bodies to index providers, ratings agencies to research firms, advisories and...
Monday, 01 Sep 2014

FAA Talent Development Survey 2014

The FAA Talent Development Survey 2014, in collaboration with Islamic Finance news (IFN), provides an overview of key statistics on issues relating to talent shortage in the Islamic finance services industry and the issues in current training programmes offered by different training providers. With increasing importance attributed to the quality of learning programmes, data and standards on learning programmes for Islamic finance professionals are published so that necessary enhancements can be made and strategies taken to achieve a balanced equation.
Sunday, 04 May 2014

Europe and the US Report 2014

Europe, with its longstanding trade ties with the Middle East, has become a hotspot for real estate investments; particularly in the UK. Qatar, one of the wealthiest nations per capita, has become increasingly active in terms of property acquisitions and investments in the UK, while the two governments seek bilateral investment opportunities. The growing number of Muslims in Europe; especially in France and the UK also signal opportunities for the growth of Islamic finance retail and investment products. In this issue of Islamic Finance news Supplements, we explore the available...
Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014

Deals of the Year 2014 Handbook

It was another action-packed year for Islamic finance in 2013, and the IFN Deals of the Year Awards displayed the exceptional development of the industry over the past 12 months. Although Sukuk performance saw a less stellar performance than 2012 on the back of Fed tapering fears, the capital markets continued to soar: boosted by strong equity performance and ongoing strides in innovation and deal size. While structures tended to err on the side of old favorites we certainly saw some exciting new deals emerge, with our overall winner IILM...
Saturday, 01 Mar 2014

Nigeria 2014

Africa has long been the next big dream for Islamic finance, with its untapped wealth and strong Muslim majorities across multiple nations and regions: from the rich cultural backdrop of North Africa across the wealthy West and down to the opportunities of the sub-Sahara and South Africa.  But while there may be resources aplenty and opportunities galore, little headway has so far been made in truly tapping this exceptional market. In recent years however this has started to change, and 2013 saw a wave of activity driving what could be...
Saturday, 01 Mar 2014

IFN Annual Guide 2014

In this edition of the Islamic Finance news Guide 2014 we bring our valued readers a comprehensive summary of the peaks and troughs following an eventful year for the industry.  Over the year we have witnessed the rise (and fall!) of new markets such as Turkey, Indonesia and North Africa. We have seen a slight slump in Sukuk as Fed tapering hit, but a concurrent surge in Islamic equities which has boosted emerging markets and given the fund space a much-needed shot in the arm.  We have seen landmark issuances in the...
Friday, 28 Feb 2014

IFN Annual Guide 2013

The Islamic Finance news Guide 2013 aims to provide our readers with a roundup of the year’s industry highs and lows from an objective viewpoint of the market practitioners themselves. As part of this growing sector, we have witnessed unprecedented leaps in the Gulf Islamic capital markets space in 2012 beyond most expectations considering the current economic climate. Major issuances originating from up and coming sovereigns such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia created a stir in the market, and more importantly, has provided the impetus for similar issuances moving forward. ...
Saturday, 01 Feb 2014

Middle East 2013

In this month’s Islamic Finance news Supplement: on the Middle East, our cover story provides a comprehensive rundown of the leading markets in the region – including their position, performance, prospects and potential. Continuing from this, our lead feature brings you an overview of the top investment opportunities currently available in the region, and analyzes the performance of key asset classes across the industry including property, project finance, debt capital markets, equity markets and more. And to ensure complete coverage, our Takaful feature discusses the predicament of the Middle East in terms...
Sunday, 01 Dec 2013

US 2013

Despite its recent financial and political challenges, the US remains one of the world’s most influential economies – and perhaps one of the last remaining frontiers for Islamic finance. Despite an estimated Muslim population of between two and 12 million the industry has failed to gain much ground on the domestic side, with the lion’s share of activity occurring in the investment space from Middle Eastern funding flows into the country. In this special edition of Islamic Finance news Supplements we give you everything you need know about Islamic finance...
Sunday, 01 Dec 2013

Kenya 2013

The African continent is perhaps the next major frontier for Islamic finance, and with its wealth of natural resources, large Muslim population across many of its most influential countries and growing global economic influence, the region is attracting increasing attention from the industry. Trade flows are picking up, infrastructure is escalating and investment is on the rise. Both accompanying and advancing its progress is the inevitable development of the banking sector, the expansion of which is essential to support this growth. One of the most advanced economies in eastern Africa,...
Sunday, 01 Dec 2013

Sukuk and Capital Markets

The turn of events in the last few months has demonstrated that with every setback, there comes an opportunity. Despite a dip in issuances and a relatively shaky capital market in the earlier part of the year following uncertainty in the US financial market and concerns over monetary easing, things seem to be picking up as the year draws to a close. The markets are rife with activity as issuers return to the market and this is expected to continue into 2014, with some tempting big ticket items on the...
Friday, 01 Nov 2013

Asia: Positivity Abounds

Asia’s Islamic capital markets are thriving on the back of issuances in Malaysia and the government of Indonesia’s repeated efforts in tapping the domestic and global market. Other countries such as Hong Kong has also recently amended its securitization laws to accommodate Sukuk, in recognition of the potential business Islamic finance could bring to the republic, while the Shariah compliant funds industry in Asia Pacific is currently dominated by Malaysia-based fund managers such as UOB Asset Management and Apex Investment Services. Bankers from the top Islamic banks in Malaysia are...
Tuesday, 01 Oct 2013

Islamic Investor

As the market evolves, providers of Shariah compliant investment opportunities are becoming more perceptive towards the needs and wants of the Islamic investor and skewing their portfolios not only according to the current state of the global markets and available opportunities, but also for a more discerning clientele; basically those looking for reasonable returns at reasonable rates of risk. At present, the myriad of Shariah compliant investment products constitute Islamic funds, equities, real estate investments, short and long-term instruments, asset management tools, Sukuk and trade finance to name a few....
Sunday, 01 Sep 2013

Islamic Finance in Africa: In need of divine intervention?

This decade, it seems as though the world economy is turning in favor of Asia and Africa; two of the most populous Muslim continents in the world. It is no question then, why, Islamic banking and finance players have also begun to consider the African market as a serious contributor to their institutions’ balance sheets. Always on the lookout for the next big thing, investment bankers, fund managers and legal advisors are constantly dissecting markets and peeling back the layers to find any glimmer of opportunity. Africa; a complex market...
Thursday, 01 Aug 2013

The IFN Law Poll 2013

Towards the end of this year, lawyers in the GCC are expected to be busy with more restructuring work, project financing deals and a healthy pipeline in terms of Islamic finance transactions. In Asia, Malaysian lawyers are looking forward to more Islamic finance work “across the board”, according to Loh Mei Mei, a partner at law firm Zul Rafique & Partners, and in Indonesia, managing partner of AZP Legal, Ary Zulfikar, is confident of the Shariah compliant mutual funds industry kicking off.  Similar to all other industries, the legal sector...
Monday, 01 Jul 2013

Takaful & Re-Takaful

The Takaful industry, in all honesty, has been a bit of a late bloomer. While most other sectors within the Islamic finance industry has seen relative progress over the last few years; or at least been a topic of much debate and open discussion, the Takaful sector has been left behind. Despite efforts and encouraging results in some pockets in Southeast Asia – particularly Malaysia and in Pakistan – there has not seemed to be much movement overall. A cross-sector view of the Takaful industry shows many hiccups still left...
Wednesday, 01 May 2013

Deals of the Year 2013 Handbook

‘Go Big, or Go Home’ seemed to be the resonating theme throughout 2012, as major issuances from established jurisdictions such as Malaysia and up-and-coming goliaths such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar made headlines across the global financial space. Towards the end of the year, the GCC Sukuk market saw a rally for Islamic paper, spurring previously dormant jurisdictions such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar to issue big ticket and market-moving deals. Favorable pricing and the security from highly-rated issuers saw unprecedented demand for paper – such as Saudi Arabia’s General...
Friday, 01 Mar 2013

Middle East: A New Dawn

A year on and the Middle East is still grappling with political instability and riding the wave of change. Throughout the region there exists a polarity between progress and setbacks, hope and despair. The mutable nature of the Arab world’s political landscape has left its impact on many countries, including Bahrain which, up to two years ago, was considered to be an up-and-coming financial center - and with much support from the government and central bank, a potential hub for Islamic finance. However, the country’s Islamic finance aspirations currently lie...
Saturday, 01 Dec 2012

Sukuk & Capital Markets

The last year has seen unprecedented growth in the Gulf Sukuk market, with major issuances spurring its primary Sukuk market, and new entrants such as Turkey creating diversity in the issuance space. Although Malaysia currently dominates the global issuance table, making up 60% of global Islamic issuances, the challenge to attract cross-border investments and Middle East issuers still remains a hurdle in the country’s bid to create a dynamic and internationally attractive capital market.  For any capital market to be successful, clear laws and precedence are important elements in attracting...
Thursday, 01 Nov 2012

Asia: Turning Tides

Asia is fast emerging as an economic force to be reckoned with, in both the conventional and Islamic markets. Currently the most liquid and resource-rich market, the continent has become a focal point for investors looking to explore greener pastures. Perhaps the key to Asia’s popularity is its status as an emerging market, which directly implies a gamut of untapped investment opportunities for development and capital requirement to serve its growing population. With a natural disposition for Islamic finance, due to the population demographic and a growing interest in Asian...
Monday, 01 Oct 2012

A Silver Lining

As the world grapples to come to terms with what seems to be a protracted decline in the global banking and financial markets, the Islamic finance industry has shown impressive growth despite the odds. The Islamic bond market for instance, is said to have superseded the conventional bond market in terms of growth and performance. According to KFH Research, in the first half of this year alone the Sukuk market recorded US$66.4 billion in issuances and is fast closing in on the anticipated US$100 billion projected for 2012 by most...
Saturday, 01 Sep 2012