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  Economics
Islamic finance market recovering -- Sabaek
14/02/2010   |   10:53 AM | Kuwait News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
KUWAIT, Feb 14 (KUNA) -- The Islamic finance market seems to be recovering from the global economic crisis that hit it last year, despite continuing challenges that face the financial sector around the world, said Sabaek Leasing and Investment Company on Sunday.
In a report, Sabaek said that total assets of the top 500 Islamic banks rose to USD 822 billion in 2009, compared to USD 639 billion in 2006, at a growth rate of 28.6 percent.
It also said that the Islamic 'sukouk' market continued to grow last year, despite difficulties, saying that between 2003 and 2007 sukouk issuance increase 47 percent, adding that 2009 was considered a year of growth comeback for the sukouk industry compared to 2008.
Sabaek noted that Standard and Poor's reported that in 2009, sukouk issuance amounted to USD 23.3 billion, compared to USD 15.5 billion in 2008, recording a growth of 34 percent. This makes 2009 the second largest sukouk issuance year, coming after 2007 when issuance amounted to USD 34.3 billion.
With this, the Islamic sukouk market has exceeded USD 110 billion, and if the rest of the Islamic finance tools are factored in, the Islamic finance market will exceed the USD one trillion barrier, it said.
Sabaek said, however, that the sukouk market remained small when looking at the value of conventional debts around the world at the end of last year, which stood at USD 25.4 trillion.
In terms of geographic distribution, it said that Malaysia accounted for more than half the sukouks issued in 2009, at 54.1 percent, namely because the country had a deep-rooted Islamic banking system that was supported by the government.
As for the share of Gulf state, it said it dropped last year, especially in the case of the UAE, noting that governments and banks still held on to the greater percentage of the Gulf sukouk market. The Central Bank of Bahrain is considered the most active in this field. (end) amf.ema KUNA 141053 Feb 10NNNN
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