Brunei achieves Islamic finance excellence with top 10 ranking

BRUNEI Darussalam remains in the top 10 best performing Islamic finance markets out of 131 countries as published in the Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Report 2018 recently.

The report, which takes into account data accumulated in 2017, revealed that Brunei’s score in the Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI) increased from 47 to 50 – thus ranking the country ninth this year and second in ASEAN after Malaysia.

The report showed that the global Islamic finance industry grew year-on-year by 11 per cent amounting to USD2.4 trillion in assets in 2017.

It also demonstrated the industry’s potential to grow to USD3.8 trillion in assets by 2023.

Malaysia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates remained the top three Islamic finance markets in overall development.

Iraq, Suriname, Nigeria and Ethiopia were indicated as the emerging Islamic finance markets with the most improvements in their financial and supporting ecosystems.

The IFDI provides rankings and profiles for different Islamic finance markets around the world based on five broad areas of development as main indicators.

These include Quantitative Development (Islamic Banking, Takaful, Other Islamic Financial Institutions, Sukuk and Islamic Funds); Knowledge (Education and Research), Governance (Regulations, Syariah Governance and Corporate Governance); Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR Activities and CSR Funds Disbursal); and Awareness (Seminar, News and Conferences).

Brunei attained the top 10 position in the Seminars and Conferences Sub-Indicators under the Awareness indicator, rising from sixth to third place for Seminars and second place for Conferences – ranking the country in the top five countries for Islamic Finance Events in 2017.

The report also indicated Brunei as one of the countries with a strong regulatory landscape where governance is assessed through regulations, corporate governance, and Syariah governance.

Growth for total assets was also recorded in Brunei’s financial sector.

In the banking sector, Islamic banking asset increased from BND10.9 billion in 2016 to BND11.2 billion in 2017, accounting for 64 per cent of the total market share of assets.

Takaful asset size rose from BND466.8 million in 2016 to BND491.8 million in 2017.

Additionally, capital market asset size increased from BND52.2 million in 2016 to BND102.5 million in 2017.

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