Singapore sees bright prospects in Islamic finance

3 Jun

Singapore’s prospects in Islamic finance look bright, with more funds establishing themselves here to tap the Islamic debt market, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s MAS top executive said on Tuesday June 3.”Singapore is the only non-Muslim majority country among the top 15 countries for Islamic finance,” MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said at the opening of the 5th World Islamic Banking Conference Asia Summit that is being held in the city-state.”More funds continue to be established here, to meet demand from clients in Asia as well as from the Middle East, while several corporations have established sukuk programmes in Singapore to tap the market over the next few years,” he added.Sukuks are bond-like structures that comply with Islamic investment principles, which prohibit the charging or paying of interest.Islamic finance has been growing by double-digits in recent years, making it one of the star performers in international finance. The industry has also become more international, as seen from recent sovereign Islamic bond issues by newcomers Britain and Hong Kong.According to Mr Menon, global Islamic financial assets are estimated to have reached US$1.8 trillion by the end of 2013, up from US$1.5 trillion in 2012.”As more countries cater for Islamic finance, the scope for cross-border Islamic finance increases. We are beginning to see more cross-border sukuk issuance within Asia as well as between the Middle East and Asia,” he said.In Singapore, Mr Menon said Islamic assets under management have surged nearly fourfold over the last five years.There are now 15 banks in Singapore involved in Islamic banking, double the number five years ago. The city-state also had nearly 30 sukuk issuances to date, with seven in 2013 alone, he added.

via Singapore sees bright prospects in Islamic finance: MAS – Channel NewsAsia.


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