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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 turbulence and volatility of 2015 – which saw oil prices crash over 60% and severe commodity unrest. Fast forward one year and at first glance, it could seem that not much has changed. Southeast Asia might be rolling in liquidity but trouble is rapidly appearing over the horizon with ongoing pressure from China’s flash crash, plummeting currencies in major Islamic finance markets including Malaysia and Indonesia, and an exodus of overseas investors from Asian bond markets.

In the Middle East, the oil price might have stabilized but governments are still suffering — as demonstrated by the vast sovereign bond issuances of the past year and significant declines in bank deposits. And of course, the twin elephants in the room — are the traditional safe havens of the US and Europe safe no more, following the Brexit decision and the Trump victory?

But it is not all bad news. Strong liquidity in Asia is still attracting investors, with multiple new Islamic funds launching over recent months. The squeezed bank lending situation in the Middle East has benefited the capital markets, and corporate issuance is on the rise with total global Sukuk volumes exceeding US$40 billion in 2016 — up 22% from just US$32 billion the previous year. Islamic investment is still flooding to UK as the plummeting pound sterling makes property a cheap bet; while Trump’s pro business stance has reassured investors in the stability of the US market.

2016 was the year of the sovereign Sukuk — we saw an extraordinary surge of exceptional deals come to market, of a size and yield that bodes well for the future of the industry. And of course new markets are also providing excitement and entertainment. Iran has taken steady steps forwards in rejoining the global marketplace, while Turkey recently reformed its tax regulations to make the issuance of corporate Sukuk more appealing and Africa offers continued opportunities for growth and development.

We have seen promising updates in the fields of governance and regulation, which should go some way towards standardizing the industry yet further. Another major trend is Islamic fintech, with several major developments in 2016 making this one of the most exciting trends we have seen in some time.

So as we move forward into 2017 the outlook is both uncertain and optimistic; exciting and intimidating. No one can know what the future will bring, but as the performance of the Islamic markets over past 12 months has shown, Shariah compliant finance is flexible, innovative and strong — giving it the capacity to handle whatever the future may bring as long as we remain true to the moral and ethical principles that underpin the industry.

As such, IFN is delighted to once again offer a multitude of material designed to inform, educate and inspire our readers across the world. I hope you enjoy our IFN Annual Guide 2017 and I wish you all the best for the new year.

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Contents: 

PREFACE

Continued volatility marks a cautious outlook for the coming year
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.

INTRODUCTION

Islamic finance 2017: Another difficult year
Where are we heading?  The drop in Islamic finance growth that we saw in 2016 is likely to continue in 2017, in our opinion.

INTERVIEW

NBF Islamic: New products, new services, new markets
National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) has had an impressive run in 2016, particularly its Islamic finance business which will continue to be the bank’s main focus going into 2017. CEO Vince Cook gives us an insider look at NBF Islamic’s performance and achievements over the past year and shares with us the bank’s Islamic banking growth strategies, product pipeline and aspirations for 2017.


SECTOR REPORTS

Accounting
Alternative investments
Aviation financing
Crowdfunding
Debt capital markets
Derivatives
Education
Family offices
Financial technology
Institutional asset management
Institutional investments
Law
Legal frameworks
Mergers and acquisitions
Microfinance
Private equity
Real estate
Regulatory issues
Risk management
Shariah & corporate governance
SMEs & entrepreneurship
Sovereign Sukuk
Takaful & re-Takaful
Trade finance
Trading & brokerage
Venture capital

COUNTRY REPORTS

Afghanistan
Australia
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Bosnia & Herzegovina
China
France
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Iran
Italy
Japan
Kenya
Kuwait
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Morocco
New Zealand
Nigeria
Offshore centers
Oman
Pakistan
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
South Africa
Tunisia
Turkey
UAE
UK
US
Friday, 16 December 2016