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 performance and a burgeoning global asset management industry. Increasing awareness of the strength, stability and sovereign support for Islamic banking brought a wider reach and greater diversity to the table, while the sector also gained traction in a broad range of new markets and asset classes.

Yet 2015 brought a rather different flavor to the table. The year started strong with some major Sukuk issuances from the IDB, Dubai Islamic Bank, the government of Ras Al Khaimah and of course the groundbreaking UKEF-backed issuance from Emirates Airline. However, as the year progressed the markets became increasingly turbulent: with oil down over 60% since July 2014 and severe commodity price volatility. The economic outlook of the major economies remained a concern and China’s weak performance led to a global backlash that hit emerging economies and Asia particularly hard. With growth forecasts slashed and liquidity tightening, emerging markets saw a flood of capital outflows as foreign investors worried about a US rate hike and falling returns pulled out their cash – while domestic investors also fled to safer havens such as the US and Europe. The low oil prices have already begun to impact monetary policy – Saudi Arabia has pulled in billions of dollars in sovereign wealth investments overseas to plug its widening fiscal deficit, while government bank deposits in the GCC have fallen and public spending sharply contracted, leading to tighter credit conditions, limited liquidity for Gulf banks and an overall slowdown in the market. 


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Islamic finance to still grow in 2016 but with a sag
Growth in Islamic finance will likely slacken in 2016, in Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’s opinion. The industry has achieved critical mass, with total assets exceeding US$2 trillion by our estimate.



Ample fertile ground for future growth in Islamic bank debt and loan financing

Are the woes of the Islamic finance industry only a passing phase? Time will tell

Spotlight on Islamic trade finance: ITFC’s new drive to reach out to SMEs and expand regional presence

Canada: Progress continues to be made

Egypt continues to be the Islamic finance market of the future

Luxembourg: A year of consolidation in Islamic finance

Qatar: A year of mixed fortunes

Financial reporting of Islamic financial institutions: The rationale, the present, and the future

Alternative investments: Growth opportunities?

Shariah compliant asset management industry remains fragmented

Emerging trends in the Sukuk marketplace

Cross-border financing proceeds cautiously with more diversity in the market

Islamic crowdfunding is here to stay

Outlook for 2016 promising

Increased need in a volatile market environment

An exciting year ahead

Sukuk: An essential tool to mobilize funds

Malaysia leads global Islamic finance charge

Halal financing booming around the world

New frontiers in human capital development

Sukuk infrastructure financing may be promising but it is not a quantum leap

More work on primary laws to accommodate Islamic finance

Ijarah industry at the crossroads

Maritime finance in the Middle East: The Islamic finance solution

Islamic microfinance needs to embrace technology to move forward

A snapshot of the pension industry: Its recent trend and future forecast

Islamic private equity growing as a vibrant segment of the Islamic finance industry

Islamic project finance: Down but not out

Corporate sector issuances core to Malaysian Sukuk resilience

Real estate remains attractive to many

US financial regulatory reforms and their impact on the financial industry worldwide

Sukuk: Turbulent waters

Shariah governance crucial in uplifting the Islamic finance ecosystem

Indexing essential to development of the Islamic finance market

SMEs and entrepreneurship: Engines of economic growth

Desire for benchmarks to drive sovereign Sukuk issuances outside of traditional markets

Responsible investment and Islamic finance: Can they work together?

Challenges and achievements

Sukuk market has grown a lot but remains a niche market

The current status and future of the Takaful industry

Slowdown in the improvement of tax legislation for Islamic finance

Financial institutions in a heated battle for market share

Building private equity and venture capital investments through diversification within the Muslim world

The Islamic wealth management industry: An alternative approach



Path Solutions
The Islamic banking and finance industry may still be posting positive growth but the industry has recognized that to move forward and be at par with the conventional, digital innovation is imperative. In this exclusive interview with MOHAMMED KATEEB, the group chairman and CEO of Path Solutions, we explore latest banking technology trends, market outlook and gain an insight into the firm’s strategy, aspirations and achievements.

NBF Islamic: Steadfast in growing market share
The UAE Islamic banking market is competitive to say the least, yet, in the short 12 months since its launch, NBF Islamic — the Shariah banking window of National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) — has managed to turn a profit and attract over AED1 billion (US$272.2 million) in deposits. VINEETA TAN speaks to the person driving the success of the business, CEO Vince Cook, and asks what else we can expect from one of the emirates’ youngest Islamic banking players.



Australia slow to capitalize on Islamic finance opportunities

Bahrain: Keeping pace with competitiveness

The Islamic economy in Belgium: Evolution and perspectives

Bosna Bank International: A lodestone for foreign direct investments

Islamic finance in Brunei well on track for 2016 and beyond

Islamic finance continues to grow in the British Virgin Islands

Diversification of Islamic finance in Europe continues

Islamic finance in India no longer a distant dream

Indonesian Islamic finance industry in 2015: Government Sukuk’s strengthening role

The Iranian capital market in 2016: Deepening the current instruments

The Islamic finance industry in Ireland

Jordan continues to be main player in the Islamic finance industry

Islamic finance stepping up in Kazakhstan

Kenya cementing itself as a leading Islamic financial and investment hub in Africa

Kuwait introduces new Sukuk regulation

A more challenging road ahead for Islamic finance in Malaysia

Time to make hay as the future is bright and sunny in the Maldives

Participative finance in Morocco: Implementation process ongoing

New Zealand presents great investment opportunities to the Islamic finance industry

Nigeria: A potential world player in the Islamic finance industry

Challenging times but significant demand for Islamic finance in Oman

Islamic finance in Pakistan attaining new heights

Islamic finance in Palestine

Islamic investing moving forward in the Philippines

Islamic finance in Russia: Ready, steady, go?

Saudi Arabian markets continue to expand

A fertile environment for Islamic finance in South Africa

Singapore: Silver linings

Islamic finance is a burgeoning industry in Sri Lanka

Islamic finance in Tunisia: What’s next?

Islamic finance continues rising in Turkey

Growth of the Islamic banking sector in the UAE on track

The UK well positioned as primary western hub for Islamic finance industry development

Islamic finance in Ukraine: A new reality

Islamic finance slowly building in the US

Wednesday, 09 December 2015