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Sunday, 23 May 2010

Prince Andrew: London can play major role in Islamic financial sector

KUALA LUMPUR: London can play a major role in the growth and the further progress of the Islamic financial sector due to vast exposure to the sector, said HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
United Kingdom, the largest centre of Islamic finance in the Western world, has established a new Islamic Finance Secretariat in March, the first Islamic finance trade body in the country with the aim of coordinating and promoting the services.
“It is looking to build upon, for example, the 22 Islamic banks already in operations in London. About 20 sukuk have been issued on the London Stock Exchange which have raised over US$11bil and there are 20 law firms in London which provide specialist services in Islamic finance,” he said at a luncheon talk at the 6th World Islamic Economic Forum yesterday.
Prince Andrew said Islamic finance was also an important instrument to strike a balance between risk taking and the requirement to provide capital to stimulate business in this difficult economy.
“This is relevant because, by whatever measures you apply, the Islamic world constitutes a major and growing part of global population – which includes over two million people in the UK alone.
“And Islamic finance will play its part in getting global finance environment back on track and will continue to be used in businesses in the future,” he said, adding that syariah-compliant asset had reached US$400bil as of end of last year.
Prince Andrew, who is also UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, said London as the leading financial centre services in the world, had its doors open for all to work with to innovate and drive forward Islamic financial services instruments as increasingly important tools in years to come.
(The Star, 21 May 2010)

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