Global Islamic Finance Industry in 2020: Who Will Be Leading the Pack?

According to the Islamic Finance Country Index (IFCI) published by Edbiz Consulting, Iran has maintained its global leadership in Islamic finance in the last five years since 2011, followed by Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. However, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia has consistently been closing this leadership gap annually. In 2015, the leadership gap between these countries narrowed significantly with Malaysia trailing behind Iran by only 5 score points.

The Global Islamic Finance Report 2015 predicts that if Malaysia continues its push to deepen Islamic finance, it will take over Iran as the number 1 ranked country by 2020. There are a number of factors that have helped Malaysia emerged as the global leader in Islamic banking and finance (IBF), but the most significant of these is the commitment of the Malaysian government to use IBF as a policy tool in its economic agenda.

At present, there are six fully-fledged Islamic banks and eleven Islamic subsidiaries owned by conventional banks operating in the country. Central Bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia, aims to capture 40% market share of the Islamic banking industry in terms of assets by 2020. The regulators in the country expect Islamic capital market assets to double to US$1 trillion by 2020 from the current US$500 billion.

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