Islamic banks are being challenged to diversify and develop new sources of revenue rather than simply competing on price against each other in a narrow range of products. It is "the need of the hour if our industry is to grow," says Chief Executive Officer of the First Islamic Investment Bank, Atif A. Abdulmalik.
Quoted in the restricted circulation Jane's Islamic Affairs Analyst surveying the "vibrant new generation" in Islamic finance, Abdulmalik underlines the potential of the industry to unlock greater funds and forge for itself a major niche market.
"If we structure a product in an Islamically acceptable manner, not only are we conducting our business in accordance with Islam but also, from a business point of view, differentiating ourselves and carving out a niche in the wider, extremely competitive financial services industry."
The Islamic finance market worldwide is worth an estimated $200 billion and growing at 15 percent a year. The ten largest Muslim states also have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $1.2 trillion and there are 150 million Muslims living in non-Islamic countries, demonstrating the sector's phenomenal potential for further growth.
The newsletter carried out the survey during the International Islamic Finance Forum earlier this year in Dubai which attracted around 300 leading industry figures from throughout the world. A second Forum takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, next month. Over two days, the Forum's wide-ranging debates will cover the problems of the regulatory environment for Islamic finance; issues raised by Islamic private banking and wealth management; and emerging new Islamic project and asset financing models. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )