Saudi Islamic finance assets estimated at $94 billion

Saudi Islamic finance assets estimated at $94 billion
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Published June 21st, 2012 - 15:00 GMT via

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Today, there are four Islamic commercial banks operating in KSA
Today, there are four Islamic commercial banks operating in KSA
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Based on analysis provided by Deloitte Middle East Islamic Finance Knowledge Center, Saudi Islamic Finance Assets, valued at $94 billion, represent 26 per cent of total GCC Islamic finance assets and 8.2 per cent out of total global Islamic finance assets.

In a report, entitled ‘Empowering Risk Intelligence in Islamic Finance’, Deloitte assesses the impact of Islamic financial Institutions in different countries. The report also focuses on the governance and structural aspects of an effective risk management framework in Islamic finance. It presents new findings in the practice of Islamic finance risk management that offer guidance to boards in managing risk in troubled times. It is based on a survey and group of case studies developed during the second half of 2011, on 20 leading Islamic financial institutions from the Middle East and South East Asia, with aggregate assets of more than $50 billion. It also includes several interviews conducted with industry leaders and risk management executives.

“Greater pressure has been placed on financial institutions offering Islamic Financial services to galvanize risk exposure and governance capabilities,” commented Dr. Hatim El Tahir, director of the Deloitte Middle East Islamic Finance Knowledge Center (IFKC). “Global and regional jurisdictional regulatory reforms are continuing. How this regulation will affect the Islamic Finance sector and the role of IIFS in the economy is yet to be seen,” he added.

The Deloitte report finds that Saudi Arabia saw the launch of one the first and most important institutions in the Islamic finance (IF) Industry. The Islamic Development Bank (IDB)is a multilateral development financing institution established in Jeddah in 1975. The (IDB) has contributed over $200million of technical support to nearly 70 Islamic financial institutions (IFI) around the world.  Furthermore, Saudi Arabia saw the establishment of other prominent institutions that played a role in the advancement of IF. This includes the founding of the International Association of Islamic Banks in 1977, with a goal of promoting and facilitating cooperation between Shari’a-compliant financial institutions, as well contributing to harmonization of the industry on an international level.

Today, there are four Islamic commercial banks operating in KSA. They include: Al Rajhi Bank, $58.8 billion total assets; Bank AlJazira, $10.3 billion total assets; Alinma Bank, $9.8billion total assets and Bank Albilad, $7.4 billion total assets.

Aside from Islamic commercial banking, the cooperative insurance industry has evolved considerably in the KSA during the past nine years. There are currently more than 30 cooperative insurance companies with total assets of over $7 billion. The largest company is The Company for Cooperative Insurance (Tawniya) with total assets of $1.9 billion. The concept of cooperative insurance was introduced in KSA in 2003 after all conventional insurance companies were exempted from Saudi Arabia and the Cooperative Insurance regulations were passed, setting the basis of providing insurance on a cooperative basis  in accordance with Islamic Shari'ah. However there was no detailed guidance as to what constitutes cooperative insurance but it is accepted that there are differences to the Takaful model.

The Sukuk market in Saudi Arabia is the third largest in the world after Malaysia and UAE, according to the IIFM Sukuk report. Total issues number of 25 with issue size of $17.1 billion up until December 2011. The single largest Sukuk issue ever was issued from General Authority of Civil Aviation in Saudi Arabia in January 2012 with an issue size of $4 billion on a Murabaha.

© 2012 CPI Financial. All rights reserved.

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