LONDON: Bahrain has topped the regional rankings of a key Islamic finance league table.
It also came second globally in the in the fifth edition of the Islamic Finance Development Report and Indicator.
The report was prepared by Thomson Reuters and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) — the private sector development arm of the Islamic Development Bank. It followed Malaysia in the top slot.
“Islamic finance is a core pillar of our region’s offering,” said Khalid Hamad, executive director of banking supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain. “We also continue to see investments made in technology and these are making a tangible impact, unlocking innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Islamic finance assets are projected to reach $3.8 trillion by 2022 from $2.2 trillion in 2016, ICD said.
With 24 Islamic banks holding assets valued at more than $25.7 billion, the report also noted that Bahrain is making great strides through the promotion of Islamic finance education and literacy.
The Central Bank of Bahrain recently released a new Shariah governance module which is significantly impacting the Shariah compliance and governance standards among Islamic banks in Bahrain, ICD said.
“With Bahrain’s very high level of Internet usage, we are capitalizing on the development of the ICT sector,” said John Kilmartin, executive director of ICT at the Bahrain Economic Development Board.
The Kingdom is supporting the disruptive power of technology and the growth of new industries by continuing with a policy of regulatory reform, ICD added.