(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Islamic finance industry is becoming one of the fastest growing components of the global financial system, with experts projecting growth rates of between 15% to 20% per annum.
The Middle East region, which has played a pivotal role in the development of the Islamic banking and finance industry internationally, is witnessing a rapid expansion in the market share of its Islamic financial institutions with billions of dollars moving from the conventional banking system to the Shari'ah model.
The World Islamic Banking Report, which was developed by Ernst & Young and launched at the 18th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) in Bahrain last November, noted that Islamic banking assets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region increased to US416 billion in 2010, representing a five year CAGR of 20% compared to less than 9% for conventional banks. The report also said that as new geographies open up to Islamic banking, the MENA Islamic banking industry is expected to more than double to US990 billion by 2015.
Held under the theme "Room to Grow: New Directions in the Next Growth Phase for Islamic Banking in the Middle East", the 2nd Annual Middle East Islamic Finance and Investment Conference (MEIFIC 2012), which is set to be held on the 18th of April 2012 in Dusit Thani, Dubai, will gather more than 250 regional and international Islamic finance leaders in a powerful dynamic platform to explore the emerging the opportunities for Islamic finance and investments in the Middle East.
Speaking to the media ahead of the event, David McLean, Chief Executive of the Middle East Islamic Finance and Investment Conference, said that, "with oil prices back on the rise, increased cash-flows, liquidity and average per capita income, the major markets in the Middle East continue to be a place of significant interest for regional and international investors. The Middle East has also seen an unprecedented increase in public spending in the recent past. This denotes significant potential for the Islamic finance industry in the region as the leading Islamic financial institutions have strong balance sheets and are well positioned to fund these large-scale developmental projects at a time when the global liquidity pool is shrinking."
"It is against this dynamic background that we are launching the 2nd Annual Middle East Islamic Finance and Investment Conference (MEIFIC 2012). Co-located with the 7th Annual World Takaful Conference, MEIFIC 2012 will focus on the opportunities and challenges that are forging the Islamic banking, finance and investment landscape in the region", he added.