Dubai: In a joint press conference with the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC), Ernest & Young highlighted part of its World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2015-2016 on Sunday in Manama.
“The growth of the Islamic banking industry in the GCC, specifically in Saudi Arabia, in the past few years can be attributed to the increased public sector spending on the back of oil revenues. It will be interesting to see how banks are affected as governments draw their reserves from the banking sector to narrow the gap on budget deficits due to the drop in the global oil price,” said Muzammil Kasbati, Director, Global Islamic Banking Centre at EY.
According to the statement, the GCC Islamic banking profit pool crossed $12 billion (Dh44 billion) for the first time in 2014, with expectations that the sector will continue to grow amid regional economic uncertainty.
“Nine core markets are currently the growth engines for the global Islamic finance industry,” the statement said.
The EY’s report identified a group of 40 banks across these nine core markets that it said are “systemically important” to the future progress of the industry. According to the report, out of the 40 banks, over 50 per cent have an equity base of $1 billion or more.
According to EY, the UAE’s Islamic banking sector in particular has been gaining momentum backed by its innovation and growing digital footprint, thus putting it on par with Malaysia in terms of global market share.
The report will be launched at WIBC 2015 on December 2.