As the global economy struggles with slow growth and high debt, Islamic finance looks to the CIS for opportunities.
Amanie Advisors recently registered its new subsidiary – Amanie Advisors CIS in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The CIS presents a huge potential market for Islamic Finance with a population of nearly 100 million Muslims, accounting for roughly 30 per cent of the total population. Recently Kazakhstan adopted a special law on Islamic banking and finance and is vying for the regional leadership role in the development of Islamic financial instruments. The Government of Kazakhstan is also playing a supportive role with the initiative and has developed a special Roadmap of Development of Islamic finance, which outlines plans through 2020. The vision is to make Kazakhstan the hub of Islamic finance for the region.
Additionally, other CIS countries like Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and many of Russia's autonomous republics like Tatarstan, Bashkurdistan and some Qauqas countries have expressed an interest in developing Islamic finance. Considering the sizeable oil and natural resources within these countries, it is felt that Sukuk would be a well-suited method of financing the many infrastructure and industrial projects now being considered.
Edige Alpysbay, Amanie's Managing Director for CIS, commented, "With so many positive macro-factors defining our region and with such an openness to asset-backed Islamic Finance methods, we are very optimistic about our chances of success in the CIS countries."
Amanie Advisors is the first global consulting company in the field of Islamic Finance who is physically entering the CIS to deliver world-class advisory in Islamic Finance, leveraging its Internationally-reputed Shariah Supervisory board. The group's offices will be in the new capital, Astana, and serve as its regional headquarters in the CIS region.
The importance of increasing cross-border investment is a key focus for Amanie, who are keen to attract investors from Malaysia and the Arabian Gulf (GCC) into profitable and economically-beneficial projects within the CIS and beyond.
Commenting on the growth potential for Islamic Finance in the CIS, Amanie's founder and Group Chairman, Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, said, "As we have seen in many other markets, Islamic Finance is an area of deep interest, as the sector represents a new source of liquidity for the many worthwhile projects currently on offer and uses financial structures that are asset-backed and ethically-minded."
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