October 29, 2013
Global Islamic commercial banking assets forecast to grow beyond $2 trillion by 2014
GCC Islamic banking assets expected to reach $131 billion by end of 2013
Bahrain continues to enjoy significant industry growth, with Islamic finance assets reaching $26.2 billion in Q3 2013
A senior Bahraini delegation including His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain, First Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) has arrived in London to join the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF). The delegation, which also includes H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive, EDB, and H.E. Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), is in London to discuss the future of Islamic economic cooperation under the theme ‘Changing World, New Relationships’.
The WIEF will be held on 29 – 31 October 2013 at the ExCel London, and the EBD are silver sponsors of the event. It is the first time that the Forum has been held in Europe. Topics to be discussed at the Forum include Islamic banking and finance, technology, infrastructure development, health, exports, and education and youth.
The growth of global Islamic finance industry has been phenomenal over the past decade, and has developed a diverse range of financial products throughout the key markets of the Middle East, Europe and Asia. There is an increasing interest from more countries to allow Shariah-compliant banking and also from key financial centres keen to support its growth. Islamic banking assets with commercial banks globally are forecast to grow beyond $2 trillion by 2014, whilst GCC Islamic banking assets are also expected to reach $131 billion by end of 2013, according to recent research and analysis.
As one of the leading international centres for Islamic finance, Bahrain plays an important role in the international growth of the industry. The growth of Islamic finance has been remarkable in the Kingdom, with total assets in this segment jumping from $1.9 billion in 2000 to $26.2 billion, as of August 2013. .
At the forum H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed will be speaking on a ministerial panel under the theme ‘Policy Frameworks for Growth’, alongside ministers from the UK and Malaysia.
Speaking ahead of the forum, H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed said: “Islamic finance has very strong potential worldwide, as its growth in recent years has shown. If the industry is to continue to grow, it is important that the leading international players work together, and that governments create the right platforms and regulatory frameworks for sustainable expansion. The more complex and larger the sector becomes, the more important gatherings like this will be.
“In Bahrain, Islamic financial institutions account for more than 13% of total assets as investors look to take advantage of opportunities within the Gulf market – an economy worth more than $1.5 trillion. There are enormous opportunities in markets such as the GCC or South East Asia where there are large Muslim populations, as well as in global financial centres like London. We look forward to discussing these issues this week.”
Presently, there are 24 Islamic financial institutions in the Kingdom of Bahrain, whose assets under management total to $26.2 billion (August 2013 2013), up from $16.4 billion (June 2008) , and 8 Islamic insurance companies (takaful and retakaful) companies operating in the Kingdom. Many conventional banks, recognising the growing importance of Islamic banking, have successfully integrated Islamic windows within their operations. Organisations based in Bahrain, including AAOFI and Thomson Reuters, also sit at the heart of the industry’s regulatory and research developments.
The delegation will include senior figures from the Islamic finance sector in Bahrain.
The full list of delegates attending the World Islamic Economic Forum is:
• His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister, and Chairman of Bahrain EDB
• HE Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive, Bahrain EDB
• HE Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor, Central Bank of Bahrain
• Khalid Hamad – Executive Director, Central Bank of Bahrain
• Mohamed Ebrahim – CEO, BiSB
• Dawood Ahmedji – Head of Islamic Finance Advisory Services, Deloitte
• Abdullatif Janahi – CEO, Venture Capital
• Younis Jamal – Chairman, Bahrain Insurance Association
• Mahomed Akoob -Managing Director, Hannover Re
• Khaled Al Faqih – Secretary General, AAIOFI
Notes to editors
About The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB)
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is a dynamic public agency with an overall responsibility for attracting inward investment into Bahrain, and is focusing on target economic sectors in which the Kingdom offers significant strengths.
Key areas of focus include manufacturing, ICT, and logistics and transport services as well as other sub-sectors. The Financial Services sector in Bahrain is particularly strong and the EDB supports in the continuing growth of the banking industry and key sub-sectors, including Islamic Finance, Asset Management, Insurance and Re-Insurance.
For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit www.bahrainedb.com; for information about Bahrain visit www.bahrain.com