Islamic banking to attract foreign investments
The local Islamic banking industry which stands to benefit from
increasing GDP growth, exceeding 8% in 2011, is poised to attract more
investment flows from Middle East and Far Eastern countries.
"The customer base of Islamic banking has gradually increased and the
industry has managed to attract sufficient interest from the
domestic market, both Muslim and non Muslim. The current non Muslim
consumer market in Sri Lanka, comprises more than 20% of its total
Islamic banking market shares, which figures are expected to increase
due to education and awareness of Islamic banking products' increase in
the country," Amana Bank CEO and Managing Director Faizal Salieh said.
The government of Sri Lanka and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka had
played an important role in the creation of Sri Lanka's Islamic banking
and finance market and Islamic Funds. Takaful and Micro financing
segments are gaining momentum.
The recent US$ 175 million Islamic syndicated facility by the
SriLankan Airlines, is expected to push forth further issuances in the
country, at both domestic and international level.
However, Islamic Finance industry in Sri Lanka is still at nascent
level compared to global hubs and the products that are really available
in the market place are some of the most essential, yet basic products.
There is room for growth in the market by way of introduction of some
of the largest instruments such as Sukuk and Shariah compliant real
estate investment trusts.
Salieh noted that there is a pressing need for a meaningful response
from legislators, industry experts and academics to implement the
necessary regulations to make Islamic banking business more investor and