Brunei Darussalam continues to be among the top 10 best-performing Islamic finance markets out of 131 countries, as highlighted in the Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Report 2018.
Based on data collected in 2017, the report reveals that Brunei’s score in the Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI) rose from 47 to 50, ranking the nation ninth globally and second in ASEAN after Malaysia. The global Islamic finance industry experienced year-on-year growth of 11 percent, reaching USD 2.4 trillion in assets in 2017, with the potential to grow to USD 3.8 trillion by 2023.
Malaysia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates maintained their positions as the top three Islamic finance markets in overall development. Meanwhile, Iraq, Suriname, Nigeria, and Ethiopia emerged as the most improved markets in terms of financial and supporting ecosystems.
The IFDI evaluates and ranks different Islamic finance markets worldwide based on five key development areas: Quantitative Development (Islamic Banking, Takaful, Other Islamic Financial Institutions, Sukuk, and Islamic Funds); Knowledge (Education and Research); Governance (Regulations, Shariah Governance, and Corporate Governance); Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR Activities and CSR Funds Disbursal); and Awareness (Seminars, News, and Conferences).
Brunei secured the top 10 rankings in the Seminars and Conferences sub-indicators under the Awareness category, climbing from sixth to third place for Seminars and retaining a second place for Conferences. This placed the country among the top five nations for Islamic Finance Events in 2017.
The report also recognized Brunei’s strong regulatory landscape, assessing governance through regulations, corporate governance, and Shariah governance.
Brunei’s financial sector experienced growth in total assets. Islamic banking assets increased from BND 10.9 billion in 2016 to BND 11.2 billion in 2017, accounting for 64 percent of the total market share of assets. Takaful assets rose from BND 466.8 million in 2016 to BND 491.8 million in 2017. Furthermore, capital market assets grew from BND 52.2 million in 2016 to BND 102.5 million in 2017.
Brunei Darussalam’s impressive performance in the Islamic finance market is a testament to the nation’s commitment to expanding and strengthening its position within this growing industry. As one of the top 10 best-performing Islamic finance markets out of 131 countries, Brunei has been proactive in developing and refining its Islamic finance ecosystem.
With a diverse range of Islamic financial products and services, Brunei’s market caters to both local and international investors. The country’s strategic location in Southeast Asia and its robust regulatory framework provides a strong foundation for further growth and development of the Islamic finance industry.
One of the factors contributing to Brunei’s success in Islamic finance is its focus on education and research. The country has invested in developing institutions and programs dedicated to Islamic finance studies, training, and research. This commitment ensures a steady pipeline of skilled professionals who can contribute to the growth and sustainability of the industry.
Furthermore, Brunei has made significant strides in enhancing its regulatory framework, ensuring that its Islamic finance sector operates in compliance with Shariah principles and international best practices. This robust governance has helped build trust and confidence among investors and customers, both locally and globally.
Another crucial aspect of Brunei’s growth in the Islamic finance market is its emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR). By aligning the Islamic finance sector with ethical and sustainable practices, Brunei promotes social and environmental welfare, which resonates with the values and principles of Islamic finance.
Brunei’s continued investment in awareness campaigns, seminars, and conferences also plays a significant role in promoting the nation’s Islamic finance market. These efforts help foster knowledge-sharing, networking, and collaboration among industry professionals, further propelling the growth of the sector.
In summary, Brunei Darussalam’s strong performance in the Islamic finance market can be attributed to its strategic focus on education, research, governance, corporate social responsibility, and awareness-building initiatives. The nation’s ongoing commitment to these key areas positions Brunei for continued growth and success within the rapidly expanding global Islamic finance industry.