Bahrain has been named the GCC’s leading Islamic finance market and second out of 92 countries worldwide, according to the ICD-Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI).
The IFDI, was launched last year and claims to be the only numerical measure representing the overall health and development of the Islamic finance industry, ranking: quantitative development, governance, CSR, knowledge and awareness.
This year’s list was dominated by countries from the GCC and South East Asia with Oman ranked third on the list, the UAE fourth, Qatar fifth, Kuwait sixth and Saudi Arabia ninth.
Malaysia ranked the number one market on the list with an indicator value of 93, compared to Bahrain’s 76, Oman’s 64, the UAE’s 57, Qatar’s 40, Kuwait’s 38 and Saudi Arabia’s 31.
On a list of the 15 largest Islamic finance economies, Saudi Arabia ranked second with $338,106 million in Islamic finance assets, compared to first place Malaysia’s $423,285 million, fourth place UAE’s $140,289 million, fifth place Kuwait’s $92,403 million, sixth place Qatar’s $81,027 million and seventh place Bahrain’s $64,644 million.
For education Bahrain topped the list with an indicator value of 74, compared to fourth place UAE with a value of 53, while for published research only Saudi Arabia (fifth place), UAE (seventh place) and Bahrain (tenth place) made a list topped by Malaysia and the UK.
For the knowledge indicator Malaysia was ranked top again with an indicator value of 140, compared to second place Bahrain’s 62, and fifth place UAE’s 38.
In the quantitative development Islamic funds category Malaysia was ranked first with a value of 103, compared to second place Saudi Arabia’s 85, fourth place Qatar’s 43, fifth place Kuwait’s 41, and ninth place UAE’s 24.
While Qatar topped the takaful sub indicator with a value of 51, over second place Malaysia with 47, sixth place Saudi Arabia and the UAE with 33 each and tenth place Kuwait with 24.
“Islamic finance has an important role to play within the wider financial sector in Bahrain and the GCC and the growth that the sector has seen is testament to that. We are committed to helping the industry to grow in Bahrain, to working towards addressing ways of boosting international growth and also to working with countries across the world as they look to establish Islamic finance industries in their own markets.,” said H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and acting CEO of the Bahrain EDB .