Islamic finance likely to advance on firm growth
"We believe Islamic finance has become a recognized and a specific segment of finance on its own with still-bright growth prospects," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Mohamed Damak. "We think Islamic finance is set to make further inroads in developed Western markets while Southeast Asian countries will likely fuel Islamic finance advance in Asia in 2010."
At the same time, though S&P believes there are a number of important questions for which the answers are not necessarily clear, they may play a part in shaping the sector's future growth. Specifically in non-Muslim countries, and especially in Europe, we consider they include the size of demand for Sharia-compliant products, regulatory and tax environments, support of the political and financial communities, sovereign sukuk issuance, and the possibility of a common strategy for extending Islamic finance across EU countries.
Assets of the top 500 Islamic banks expanded 28.6% to total $822 billion at year-end 2009, compared with $639 billion at the end of 2008, according to publicly available information.
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