London: Banks that comply with Islamic Sharia
law are thriving despite the global financial crisis, thanks
largely to a "conservative approach to risk," according to a
new listing published on Thursday.
The latest research by The Banker magazine reveals that
assets held by fully Sharia-compliant banks or the Islamic
units of conventional banks rose by 28.6 per cent to USD 822
billion in 2009, up from USD 639 billion in 2008.
This contrasts sharply with the stagnation in the
conventional banking sector. The Banker`s survey of the top
1,000 world banks published in July showed annual asset growth
of just 6.8 per cent.
"A conservative approach to risk and close links between
the financial sector and real assets has helped shield the
sector from the worst of the credit crisis," said the
magazine`s editor, Brian Caplen.
The Banker said the Islamic finance industry was building
a "solid track record," with a compound annual growth rate for
2006-2009 of 27.86 per cent, and forecast assets would hit USD
1,033 billion in 2010.
But Caplen warned that work remained in managing
liquidity at Islamic banks, and transparency and financial
reporting "remain challenges" for the industry.
The 2009 Top 500 Islamic Financial Institutions appears
in November`s edition of The Banker.