Refinitiv releases findings of 2021 Islamic Finance Development Indicator
· Global Islamic finance assets rose 14% to $3.374 trillion in 2020
· Saudi Arabia’s Islamic finance assets increased by 18% to $826 billion in 2020
The report highlighted new trends this year, including the expansion of the fintech industry and digital banks led by Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE. The Southeast Asian nations Malaysia and Indonesia retained their top rankings for the second year in a row.
According to the report, global assets for the industry maintained double-digit growth, rising 14% to $3.374 trillion in 2020. Sukuks, the second-biggest sector in Islamic finance, grew by 16% in 2020 driven by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Southeast Asia.
The report indicated that Saudi Arabia’s Islamic finance assets soared by 18% in 2020 to $826 billion. With developments in governance as well as its leading position on the corporate social responsibility (CSR) indicator, Saudi Arabia’s IFDI score rose from 64 in 2019 to 74 in 2020, pushing it from fifth into third place behind Malaysia and Indonesia.
Ventje Rahardjo, Executive Director of National Committee for Islamic Economy and Finance (KNEKS), Indonesia, said: “Indonesia successfully maintained its second place on the IFDI 2021. The country managed to get higher scores in most indicators mainly education, research, awareness and government support. We will continue growing the Islamic financial industry as part of our strategy to strengthen our national economic resilience.”
“The Islamic finance industry will contribute to the implementation of the Saudi Economic Vision 2030. We believe that this industry provides substantial support to the growth and sustainability of the private sector in Saudi and across global markets,” said Ahmed Mohmmed Asery, Director of Islamic Finance Division, Saudi Central Bank.
Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), said: “One of the key drivers of Malaysia Islamic finance development is the adoption of the Value-based Intermediation (VBI) by Malaysian Islamic banks since 2017 and more recently by the Takaful operators. We believe that Islamic financial institutions will leverage on this experience and continue to roll out sustainability initiatives.”
“The Islamic finance industry continues to attract new players and evolve its products and services to become a more active participant in the world’s march towards achieving climate goals,” said Mustafa Adil, Head of Islamic Finance, Refinitiv, a London Stock Exchange Group business.
“The key Islamic finance jurisdictions are focused on sustainability and environment, social and governance (ESG) policies. Looking back at 2020, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia were notable actors as they leveraged Sukuks to finance social and green projects,” he added.
“Moving forward, we expect to see more developments as the central banks of Malaysia and Saudi Arabia award their first digital banking licenses. Islamic fintechs coming out of the UK and USA also continue to attract attention and we expect to see newer entrants from Pakistan and Central Asia,” Adel noted.
The report derives its analysis from the Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI) based on statistics from 135 countries around the world. As a barometer of the state of the global Islamic finance industry, the report measures country scores across knowledge, governance, corporate social responsibility, and awareness metrics.
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Tarek Fleihan London Stock Exchange Group
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