Today, the Sharia finance and banking industry is one of the fastest growing markets in the world and is estimated to be worth more than US$1 trillion in the next 2 years, according to the UK-based Securities & Investment Institute.
Unaffected by the subprime crisis, projections suggest that this market will grow by 15 per cent per year over the next decade and will account for 60 per cent of the savings of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslim community, in that same period.
The Securities & Investment Institute (SII), the leading financial services educational body in the area of Islamic finance, first announced the development of its benchmark Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) in 2005.
This is said to have captivated global interest, and last year the IFQ was sat by 285 candidates around the world. SII has designated Singapore as its first choice for the regional launch of the IFQ. The Institute is also working with financial services regulators throughout the Middle East including all the Gulf Corporation Council countries (GCC).
IFQ is sold in 53 countries and has become a required qualification in a number of finance houses and government institutions around the globe. It has just become the first and only Islamic finance qualification on the UK list of recommended examinations.Singapore as a regional economic hub is said to be ideally located to reach to the developing countries of S.E. Asia to provide service and products to the rapid growth in the Islamic Finance industry.
The launch of the SII Islamic Finance Qualification from Singapore provides the perfect tool for consumers in the region to gain the prerequisite background to assess wholesale instruments, such as Sukuk, Islamic bonds or retail products such as Islamic mortgages.