Making the case for sukuk in London

by TMR / pic by BLOOMBERG

There is a “real opportunity to realise the potential” of Islamic finance and build “a truly global marketplace” starting from the UK, said Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group president Dr Bandar MH Hajjar (picture).

Outlining his case, he said the prolonged double-digit growth suggested that Islamic finance and sukuk are now performing strongly on the global stage.

Total sukuk issuances grew from US$85 billion (RM331.5 billion) in 2016 to almost US$100 billion in 2017 — showing that, although the international market is in its nascent stages, there is enormous potential for growth, he added.

“The sukuk market represents a key component of the Islamic financial system, which has grown at a double-digit rate for the last decade and reached US$3.5 trillion last year. Yet despite this growth, the sector has traditionally been seen as little more than a niche activity within western economies,” he said in an article which appeared in City AM.

He was drumming up support for sukuk in particular, and Islamic nance in general, as a run up to IDB’s Sukuk Conference 2018 taking place in London today.

Bandar, a former Saudi Arabian minister of hajj and minister of culture and information, said IDB’s funding plan for the first half of 2018 is estimated at US$2.5 billion, the largest since the bank’s inception.

He noted that a benchmark-sized sukuk issue will soon be launched subject to market conditions, with the proceeds to go to support infrastructure, education and health projects across its 57 member nations. — TMR