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Thursday, 7 February 2013

Belgian Muslims ‘fascinated’ by Islamic finance

Key findings published this week from Belgium’s first independent market study, Islamic finance in Belgium – sizing the retail market points to a very strong interest from local Muslim consumers in Islamic finance products and services. Over 70 per cent of survey respondents interviewed for the study have indicated their likelihood to take up such services if local banks were to begin offering them.

Islamic finance in Belgium – sizing the retail market was independently commissioned by the Association for the Development of Islamic Finance (ADEFI) in conjunction with IFAAS (Islamic Finance Advisory & Assurance Services). 
The report sets out the market opportunities for financial institutions interested in developing an offering for the Belgian consumer market, and analyses Muslim consumers’ current consumption of financial products and services and their attitudes towards conventional, interest-based retail finance.  It then gauges their predisposition to change from conventional products to Islamic products, such as loans and savings accounts, their price elasticity towards these products and their likely speed of response to the launch of such products.  
Fouad TAHERE, president of ADEFI says, “Islamic finance in Belgium – sizing the retail market” is the first specialised independent report providing an insight in to the Belgian Muslim consumer’s appetite for Islamic Finance products and services.  With over 70% of respondents likely to take-up such products,Islamic finance offers vast potential for financial organisations wishing to develop their offering.”
Boubkeur AJDIR, director, IFAAS added, “Islamic finance is a developing market in Europe including France and Belgium, and with Brussels as the heart of the EU, it offers great potential to financial services companies.  The challenge for decision makers is to ensure that their early critical decisions are based on accurate market information to ensure long term success. This report will prove invaluable for many institutions keen to unlock this potential.”
Interviews were conducted per phone on a weighted sample size of over 500 individuals, reflecting a true picture of the Belgian Muslim consumer market.  The target sample was composed of adult men and women, from a variety of socio-economic categories living in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia.
(Albawaba Business / 07 Feb 2013)

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