Deloitte eyes 'significant opportunities' in Islamic finance

Islamic financial institutions hold $960bn in assets globally, of which 60% are in the GCC
Deloitte eyes 'significant opportunities' in Islamic finance
Islamic financial institutions hold $960bn in assets globally, Deloitte said
By Elsa Baxter
Mon 08 Nov 2010 09:13 AM

Deloitte
& Touche is targeting the Islamic finance sector for future growth as it
provides a significant opportunity, the company’s Middle East chairman and CEO
said.

Globally
Islamic financial institutions hold $960bn in assets, of which 60 percent are
concentrated in the GCC, Omar Fahoum said.

“Islamic
finance is here to stay. This is not a fad. This is not a flash in the pan. The
numbers are substantial in terms of the assets with Islamic financial
institutions,” he told journalists in Dubai.

He
said 80 percent of Islamic financial institutions are based in the GCC.

"Islamic
finance activities have been growing at the rate of 20 percent for the past
five years," said Joseph el Fadiof of Deloitte's financial services
industry.

“It
has seen a slow down in 2009 and 2010 but still this market is growing, just
not as before.”

Banks have started to create windows for Islamic finance
products rather than switching all their products to Islamic finance, he said.

Deloitte
has continued to expand in the region and has hired more than 1,000 staff in
less than two years, taking its total Middle Eastern staff to 2,200 employees.

Fahoum
said he was optimistic about regional economies returning to growth due to
stable oil prices and investment in public spending.

“Public
spending in GCC countries is at unprecedented levels higher than previous
years. How does that translate to our business? We definitely have the
confidence that were making the necessary investments,” he said.

“Naturally
if the view from our end was other than an optimistic view we wouldn’t be
making these investments.”

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