Islamic financial instruments are fast becoming the preferred choice for non-Muslims not only as commercially viable alternatives but also in terms of product, cost and efficiency.
John Zinkin, the chief executive officer of the Securities Industry Development Corporation (SIDC), also said that although the Islamic capital market has grown rapidly, it has not yet to realise its full potential.
A report has been released by independent research and advisory firm - Financial Insights - an IDC company, which states that the development of Islamic Banking and Finance (IBF) in Asia/Pacific is growing at a fast pace.
Malaysia has effectively established itself as the regional, if not global, hub for Islamic finance, which has been seeing consistently double-digit annual growth globally with current asset under management valued at more than US$400 billion (RM1.38 trillion), said Financial Insights, an IDC company.
Hamilton businessman Abdullahi Dayib, has set up his own company, Al-Haramain Islamic Finance, to offer New Zealand's first Islamic "mortgages".
He is a Muslim, whose religion bars conventional borrowing with interest payments, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Mr Dayib, who is Somali-born, said shariah, or Islamic law, deemed the payment or receipt of interest - known as riba - akin to usury.
The licensing of First Community Bank, which intends to roll out a complete array of Islamic banking products and services has stirred the financial sector with questions lingering over its viability.
First Community Bank represents some kind of rethink among policymakers who previously blocked a licence for the proposed Coffee Bank, which intended to specialise offering financial services to the agricultural sector, with its core sector being coffee.
To some, the divide between the Muslim and Western worlds has
never been wider. But for the European Islamic Investment Bank's John
Weguelin, the two sides have never been closer.
That Weguelin is not a Muslim is a non-issue according to sharia law,
which restricts investment options but not necessarily investment
advisers. The U.S. Census does not track the number of American
Muslims, but a recent Pew Research survey estimates that there are 2.4
million Muslims in the country.
Gulf bankers arranging Islamic bond sales have had to cancel or postpone holidays to cope with a deluge of deals during the summer, traditionally a quiet time for business in a region winding down to cope with the heat.
Sales of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, have surged in the last year as more of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims seek investment vehicles that comply with their beliefs.
It is hard to believe how Islamic finance, based on ideals of fairness, would be involved in a deal for ultra-luxury cards.
However, given that the financiers are oil-rich Gulf states, there is no wonder that development of poor countries and raising the standard of living are not priorities ...
Kuwait's The Investment Dar (TID) has received international recognition for its lead in the landmark GBP479m acquisition of the Aston Martin Car Company in the UK.
More Western banks are getting into Islamic financial instruments.
Topaz Energy and Marine Ltd., one of Dubai's leading oil and gas services companies, today announced that it had concluded a US$ 50 million syndicated Islamic lease finance facility with Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of Scotland and First Gulf Bank. Under the terms of the agreement, the facility will be used towards the construction of eight special purpose ice class work barges which will operate in the north Caspian region of Kazakhstan.
Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) has reported strong interest from Western institutional investors, days after the bank became the first Islamic finance house from the Gulf to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).Conditional trading of its global depository receipts (GDR) started on the LSE on Friday and unconditional trading under the symbol "GFH" will start on Wednesday.