Gulf Shariah-sensitive investment to rise

08/05/2012 11:36 AST  Saudi Gazette

Liquid wealth of Shariah-sensitive investors in the GCC is expected to add more than $70 billion to Islamic funds by 2013, Ernst & Young Islamic Funds and Investments Report 2011 said.

"This, along with the fact that Islamic funds industry had registered a growth of 7 percent in AuM last year - shaking off a period of stagnation - indicates a significant opportunity to harness the full potential of Shariah-compliant investments", David McLean, Chief Executive of the World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference, said ahead of the 8th Annual World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference (WIFFMC 2012) to be held in Manama on May 20-21.

"With key markets for Islamic finance, especially in Asia and the Middle East, now facing escalating infrastructure and development needs backed by solid economic growth, and the outlook for global lending markets still remaining uncertain, Islamic investments will play a key role in funding these multi-billion dollar projects given the fact that the global liquidity pool continues to shrink. Governments in various key markets are making moves to create a more attractive investment climate for Shariah-compliant finance and are forging greater co-operation between each other and multilateral agencies to attract investments," he noted.

Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker, Executive Director, Financial, Islamic Funds and Investments, said "the increasing interest in Islamic finance in major markets across the globe presents a unique opportunity of expanding the global footprint of the Islamic investments industry. It is therefore important to ensure that the Islamic funds and investment industry has solid and strong foundations for future development and growth.”

“In addition to enhancing the innovations of new Islamic instruments and encouraging more spending in research and development, it is also essential that the Islamic financial institutions develop strategic alliances with other financial institutions globally, especially in the area of products structuring and offering,” he added.

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