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Thu 5 Nov 2009 12:06 PM

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Double digit growth for Islamic banking assets in 2009

New survey reveals 28.6% growth for Shariah compliant banks amid downturn.

Islamic banking assets posted double-digit growth this year despite the global economic slowdown, according to a new report.

Assets held by fully Shariah-compliant banks or Islamic banking windows of conventional banks rose by 28.6 percent to $822bn from $639bn in 2008, according to The Banker’s “Top 500 Islamic Financial Institutions” survey.

The London-based magazine found in a July survey that the world’s conventional banks posted annual asset growth of just 6.8 percent.

“A conservative approach to risk and a close link between the financial sector and real assets has helped shield the sector from the worst of the credit crisis,” said editor Brian Caplen.

“But finding improved ways to manage liquidity at Islamic banks, as well as harmonising Shariah and prudential compliance between institutions and markets, remain significant hurdles.”

GCC states accounted for $353.2bn or 42.9 percent of the global aggregate, while Iran remained the largest single market for Shariah-compliant assets, accounting for 35.6 percent of the total.

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