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  • Moody’s report revealed that Islamic finance has grown to the level of diversification, sophistication and innovation triggered by the mushrooming of Islamic financial institutions and abundance of liquidity  in the market.
  • Business has diversified beyond geographical lines and products has evolved rapidly and become more sophisticated.

By Staff Writer

The Islamic finance sector is increasingly witnessing diversification, sophistication and innovation, thanks to new entrants, the launch of new products and abundant liquidity in the market, a new report has revealed.

“We have seen a mushrooming of new Islamic financial institutions (IFIs), and there are several reasons for this,” said Anouar Hassoune, a Moody’s Vice-President Senior Credit Officer in Global Banking report.

“The consolidation is not on the agenda of Islamic financiers at this stage: Microenomomic theory says that a growing and profitable market provides enough space for a sizeable number of newcomers,” said Hassoune. The report also emphasises the expectation that the expansion of the Islamic financial industry will lead to further diversification. Benefits are expected to be extracted from increasing sophistication and further innovation, but also from growing operating and geographic diversification.

While new Shari’ah-compliant business lines are gaining ground, especially in investment banking, IFIs are exploring new horizons across a wide range of territories starting from their Asian and Middle Eastern platforms. Africa, the Americas, and Europe (especially the UK, but also countries in continental Europe like France) have been identified as very attractive potential markets. Hassoune said Paris is competing hard with London to become European hub for Islamic finance.

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