The global Islamic finance industry is now worth more than $1 trillion (Dh3.67 trillion) in terms of assets, having quadrupled in the last three years, as it concentrates more on diversification. Unsurprisingly perhaps, nine of the top ten Sharia-compliant financial assets by country, are based in the Middle East and Asia. The tenth is in the UK.
"The Islamic financial institutions have become far more aware of the necessity to better diversify their asset portfolios and the growing sukuk market should help widen the range of asset classes eligible for investment. Islamic banks have also started to explore new business lines - mortgages could pave the way for more active Sharia-compliant securitisation," Al Khan said.
Despite the current economic challenges faced by countries in the region, the excess liquidity still in Gulf economies has fuelled sustained demand for Islamic finance products, according to Ahmad Al Khan, head of investment banking at Global Banking Corporation (GBCORP), based in Bahrain.
In the not-too-distant future, Islamic finance will be tapping into new sectors in order to have a much greater global presence and attract a wider audience.