Momentum for Islamic Banking and finance picking up in Sri Lanka

With the Global Sukuk (Islamic Bonds) Market expected to reach USD 200 billion by 2010, First Global Investments hopes to develop a fully fledged Islamic Bank and the first ever Sri Lankan Sukuk is expected to capture 50% of the Islamic Investments base in 2009. First Global Investments is currently working to secure mandates to raise USD 300 Million through issuance of Sukuk.

Islamic Banking is largely untapped and “many are unaware of what it is about…growth potentials are enormous and opportunities are largely untapped due to lack of understanding” said Mr. Thowfeek. “The industry is growing, in the last 33 years only 20% of the market potential has been tapped in to – the entire 80% is open”, he said, adding that “unlike conventional banking, the entire transaction is looked at from moral and ethical boundaries to safeguard the very fabric of society – Islamic banks are not charitable institutions…”

“All organizations are now picking up to have an arm of Islam banking……there is a demand and most conventional banks have been converted in the middle east” adding that “out of the top 10 global banks, 6 banks are involved to capitalize – for non-Muslims it makes commercial sense and the potential is very high.” He added that countries such as Thailand, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, India were all expanding Islamic finance institutions and therefore “no government, no regulator, no global or local financial institution can ignore the potential of Islamic banking”.
Read: Daily Mirror Online

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