News

Covid an opportunity to transform Islamic finance, says S&P

The temporary slowdown in the growth of Islamic finance as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic could help unlock the long-term potential of the industry.  This is the finding of a report from rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) into the global Islamic finance industry.  After a stellar performance in 2019, helped by a dynamic sukuk market, there has been “a significant slowdown of core Islamic finance economics in 2020,” stated S&P Global Ratings head of Islamic finance Mohamed Damak. While there is expected to be a “mild recovery” in 2021, there is also an opportunity to undergo reforms that could accelerate the industry’s long-term prospects. Access to sukuk and other Islamic finance products has become even more time consuming and more complicated than conventional instruments as government coffers have been depleted. However, there is a greater awareness of the importance of standardisation while lockdown measures have also shown the importance of better use of technology and social instruments to create a more efficient market.  “With the right coordination between different Islamic finance stakeholders, we believe the industry could create new avenues of sustainable growth that serve the markets,” said Damak. © 2020 funds global mena

Sponsored Profiles

There’s no doubt that Africa has been seen increasingly as an attractive prospect for inbound investment in recent years, with investors seeing real potential in the continent, particularly in the private equity, infrastructure and real estate asset classes, as it experiences strong economic growth.

Plausible explanations exist for why low-volatility stocks perform better than their high-volatility counterparts.

Aberdeen Asset Management has set up its first Middle East office in the newly established Abu Dhabi Global Market. Andrew Paul, senior executive officer, explains why.

A recent sovereign bond issue from Saudi Arabia underlines the appeal of emerging market investing. What must investors consider when allocating to this asset class? Firas Mallah of BMO Global Asset Management shares his views.

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘Financing is the blood of Iran’s economy’

Amid a fresh wave of American sanctions, Romil Patel spoke to Meysam Hamedi, director of financial markets and instruments at Iran’s Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO).

INTERVIEW: Totally mega

In 2016, global consulting firm PWC forecast the emergence of five global ‘megatrends’ in the next two decades. Stephen Anderson, its Middle East clients and markets leader, talks about their...

INTERVIEW: Protecting the investment

Rasmala’s trade finance fund recently passed $100 million in assets. Doug Bitcon, head of credit strategies, explains why he has to be hands-on.

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: A natural interest in the topic

Since 2016, Guillermo Ortiz has been a chairman of Latin America’s BTG Pactual. The former central banker of Mexico talks to Nick Fitzpatrick.

Roundtables

Middle East Investor Roundtable 2020: Dimensions of diversification

Investors in the Middle East consider the tools that will be needed to navigate the Covid-19 crisis, the continued appetite for dividend and why it’s all about tech. Chaired by Romil Patel.

South Africa asset management roundtable: Global rebound on ice

Experts discuss the investment implications of the coronavirus pandemic, a delayed rebound in global growth and dealing with South Africa’s energy issues head on. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

South African roundtable: Taking the bull by the horns

Our panel discusses Chinese investment in Africa, financial institutions’ contribution to economic sustainability and regulatory concerns. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

ROUNDTABLE: Hooked to the global caravan

With the MENA region at a tipping point, our panellists talk about economic diversification, the impact of regulation and the delayed Saudi Aramco listing. Chaired by Romil Patel in Dubai.