(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Global Islamic banking assets with commercial banks are expected to reach 1.72 trillion in 2013, according to Ernest and Young (EY) latest World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 201314 launched recently at the World Islamic Banking Conference in Manama.
In 2012, global Islamic banking assets with commercial banks reached 1.54 trillion, said the report, quoted by Saudi Gazette on Sunday
The report revealed that six rapid-growth markets including Qatar, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, UAE and Turkey (QISMUT) represented 78 percent of the international Islamic banking assets with commercial banks, excluding Iran
This includes both pure-play Islamic banks and windows of conventional banks
There is also increased demand on established and new reference centers including Bahrain and Malaysia to provide leadership for the next phase of industry's development
According to the report, Islamic banks today serve approximately 38 million customers globally, two third of whom reside in the six countries
The biggest challenges for Islamic banks are how to become a mainstream form of banking in their home markets, diversification to build regional brands, and taking a more socially responsible approach to differentiate themselves from conventional banks
The growth of the industry is expected to remain moderate going into 2014, as several leading Islamic banks contemplate large-scale operational transformation.