The UAE, Bahrain and Malaysia are leading the Islamic Finance Development Report and Indicator (IFDI) country rankings for the fifth consecutive year, stated Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionalsm, in its report prepared in cooperation with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector development arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

The key findings of the fifth edition of the IFDI were revealed at the World Islamic Banking Conference, WIBC, 2017 being held in Bahrain.

The report studied key trends across five indicators, ‘Quantitative Development’, ‘Knowledge’, ‘Governance’, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ and ‘Awareness’, used to measure the development of the $2.2 trillion Islamic finance industry.

It also compiled extensive statistics on the industry from 131 countries and highlighted the best-performing nations within each key area of performance.

The IFDI global average value, which acts as a barometer of the overall industry’s development, recovered to 9.9 in 2017 from 8.8 in 2016, said the report from Thomson Reuters.

This reflected improved performances in each of the five indicators. The GCC remains the leading regional hub for the industry. Countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, CIS, Europe, East and West Africa saw notable improvements in their IFDI values, demonstrating the continued growth of Islamic finance in non-core markets.

The report also highlights how Islamic finance can help countries adapt to difficult economic conditions.

Nadim Najjar, the managing director of Thomson Reuters in the Middle East and North Africa, said, « We have seen that the Islamic finance industry can serve as a strategic tool for policymakers for sustainable growth to cope with the aftermath of the economic slowdown that impacted markets such as the Middle East. Some markets had noteworthy improvements in their IFDI values when they improved or introduced Islamic finance to fit their economic needs and attract investments from Morocco, Tunisia and Iraq. »

Khaled Al Aboodi, the chief executive of ICD, said: « Incorporating Islamic finance in different strategies can be seen in the many steps taken by governments across different IFDI indicators. »

« This was noticed when some authorities intervened in Islamic social funds management, raised literacy in the industry among potential market players through formal education systems, organised roadshows targeting potential market players, or built a roadmap to plot development of the overall industry, » he added.-

Copyright reserved TradeArabia News Service 2017

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