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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Growing Demand for Islamic Finance Talent

The solid growth of the Islamic financial industry in the past few years has been underpinned by several factors, including improvements in regulatory clarity,

supportive demographic factors and product innovation. Indeed, from a USD0.8bln industry in 20091, assets in Islamic finance grew to nearly USD2tln in 20142 . Of these, 79% of assets are in the Islamic banking sector, while sukuk accounted for a 16% share.

Geographically, the Gulf Cooperation Council  (GCC) countries, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and Asian countries accounted for a bulk of the industry’s assets. These regions have benefitted in part from favourable demographics and preferences for Shariah-compliant financial services.
Notably, non-OIC countries such as the US, Hong Kong and Luxembourg have also shown increased interest in Islamic finance, as these countries has issued debut sukuk in 2014. In addition to industry developments, growth in the past few years have been accompanied by evolving regulations, especially in key
Islamic finance jurisdictions. For example, Malaysia has enacted its Islamic Financial Services Act (IFSA) 2013. IFSA significantly strengthens the legal foundations that support a comprehensive regulatory and supervisory framework for Islamic finance and reflect international standards for effective supervisory systems. Elsewhere, several jurisdictions such as the UAE and Indonesia5 are in the midst of centralising Shariah functions in the industry.

Overall, recent developments in Islamic finance suggest that the industry is headed for deeper and more robust growth. Nevertheless, at the operations level, a key challenge for the Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) is to ensure adequate human capital supply to support various functions such as Shariah expertise and product development, as well as risk management, legal and information technology.
(Islamic Finance.Com / 01 July 2015)
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