The huge growth in liquidity in the Gulf bodes well for Islamic finance houses, but they need to avoid becoming complacent, financial experts warned yesterday.
Islamic banks will need to work hard to target wealthy individuals in the Gulf, many of whom value quality of service over Sharia compliance, said executives from Ernst & Young at the launch of the company's annual Islamic Funds and Investments Report.
They were speaking at a pre-conference briefing held before the opening of the World Islamic Funds and Capital Markets Conference today at the Gulf Hotel.
The number of wealthy individuals in the GCC - those with liquid wealth in excess of $50,000 - is expected to grow to more than 387,000 by the end of this year.
The total liquid wealth held by these individuals will reach $80 billion by the end of 2007, compared with $61bn at the start of the oil boom, in 2003.
This is allied to a strong growth in institutional investment, particularly in new Sharia-compliant asset classes such as takaful, or Islamic insurance.
Via Gulf Daily News.