IFIs sustain growth despite global economic upheaval

Ashar Nazim
Despite the challenging global economic environment, leading Islamic financial institutions have been able to sustain their growth ambitions, according to an expert.

“The industry, with its increasingly international footprint, continues to demonstrate its resilience and competitiveness, while the range of Shari’ah-compliant products and services available globally has significantly widened and deepened,” David Mclean, the organiser of the World Islamic Banking Conference 2102, in a pre-event statement said.

“The rapid growth and the intensification of the industry’s internationalisation highlight the dynamic nature of the industry and underscore the increasing efforts of Islamic financial institutions to meet the growing demands of a global economy,” he added.

The WIBC Competitiveness Report 2012/13, developed in collaboration with leading international advisory firm Ernst & Young, will be officially launched on the 10th of December 2012 at the 19th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2012) at the Gulf International Convention Centre in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report, a ground-breaking initiative designed to not only identify but also to raise the bar of competitive excellence, strategic leadership and performance improvement in the global Islamic finance industry, now in its 9th annual edition, will analyze key strategies that leading Islamic financial institutions must adopt in order to ensure continued stability amidst the challenges of slowing growth and declining profitability.

“However, in order to sustain growth over the long term, there is a need to put in place prudent legal and regulatory policies and sound business frameworks that will further boost the resilience and success of the Islamic financial sector”, he added.

“Half yearly results are out and 2012 looks to be another challenging year for Islamic banks in terms of profitability. This comes at a time when conventional giants are under unprecedented regulatory scrutiny and several European banks are deleveraging and curtailing operations in emerging markets. Clearly for Islamic banks, achieving the second trillion dollars is about demonstrating exceptional value to mainstream customers. This demands unconventional leadership, to build business architecture that will help win in the retail market,” announcing the launch of the Ernst & Young WIBC Competitiveness Report 2012/13, Ashar Nazim, Partner, Head of Islamic Banking Excellence Centre, Ernst and Young, said.

“The Ernst & Young’s World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2012-13 examines Islamic banks’ efforts to penetrate mainstream retail customers and that the report also explores the road map being adopted by Islamic banks to make a transition to a double-compliant model, i.e., excellence in banking operations topped up by exceptional Shari’ah proposition,” Nazim, added.

The eagerly anticipated report, which has over the past 9 years evolved into an indispensable reference resource for the key decision-makers in the global Islamic banking and finance industry, will be exclusively launched onsite at a special plenary session of WIBC 2012. The Report titled “Growing Beyond: DNA of Successful Transformation” will be presented by Ashar Nazim, Partner, Head of Islamic Banking Excellence Center, Ernst and Young, and Shoaib Qureshi, Senior Manager Islamic Financial Services MENA, Ernst and Young.

Supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain, the 19th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2012) will be held from the 9th to the 11th of December 2012 at the Gulf Convention Centre, Gulf Hotel, in the Kingdom of Bahrain. WIBC, which has over the last 19 years established its position as the world’s largest and most influential annual gathering of international Islamic finance leaders, will this year see more than 1200 industry leaders from over 50 countries gather for discussions that will seek to build solid foundations for the Islamic finance industry by adapting to the new dynamics of global finance and further support the international growth of the Islamic banking and finance industry.

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