Facilitating the growth of Islamic Finance
Experts at the MEED-Mashreq Islamic Finance Business Leaders Forum emphasised the role Islamic finance can play in achieving business ambitions
As economies in the GCC regain their strength after the challenges of recent years, Islamic finance too is growing in tandem.
Benefitting from higher oil prices and limited inflationary impact, the sector is expected to continue its upward trajectory in the coming months. Credit analysts S&P Global Ratings forecast 10 per cent growth over the coming year.
Experts, however, argue that the industry is yet to achieve its full potential. Despite the strong growth witnessed in recent years, issues such as a lack of clarity on Shariah-compliance, limited innovation and slow evolution of financial instruments hinder the speed of growth.
At the same time, the prospect for change is enormous. The parallels between Shariah-compliant instruments and the emerging demand for ESG-focused finance serves as a substantial opportunity for the Islamic financing sector to embrace.
Moreover, there is appetite to embrace new age financial technology, or fintech, to improve accessibility to finance.
Even more significant is rising support from governments, compliance authorities and banking regulators to expand Islamic finance to broader sections of the economy. A key enabler in this case is financial technology or fintech, which is allowing Islamic finance solutions to reach a broader audience globally.
On 7 December 2022, MEED and Mashreq brought together leading experts in an exclusive, invite-only session to discuss how Islamic finance can support business growth, underpinned by ethical, equitable and sustainable lending values. This report captures high-level insights from the event, featuring perspectives from industry regulators, financiers and customers.