Islamic Banking & Finance set to attract more attention in 2010
Islamic banking is one of the world’s fastest growing financial sectors, according to industry estimates. It has attracted more attention in the aftermath of the global financial crisis as investors are increasingly looking for alternative, ethical ways of investing. This has also intensified a debate within the industry on whether it should move further away from conventional banking, designing products based more directly on Islamic principles. Global issuance of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, is expected to fall this year from 2009 levels, a recent Reuters poll showed, as the Dubai debt crisis and an expected rise in borrowing costs weigh on market sentiment. In the Gulf Arab region, a funding crunch at Bahrain-based Islamic investment house Gulf Finance House shows that the financial crisis is far from over in the region and that the industry urgently needs to develop new products and business lines to generate revenues. CEOs and other top names will discuss these and other topics in a series of closed on-the-record interviews at the Reuters Islamic Banking and Finance Summit, to be held in Dubai, Manama, Kuala Lumpur, London, Geneva and Jakarta on February 15-18, 2010.