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LONDON, April 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite its small size, the Islamic banking sector has achieved tremendous growth in recent years. According to the IMF, Islamic lenders have outperformed conventional banks over the past decade, and there is still plenty of room for growth. Sharia-compliant financial assets are forecast to reach $3.8trn by 2023, averaging annual growth of 10 percent, according to Thomson Reuters' 2018 Islamic Finance Development Report.
In the latest edition of World Finance, the 2020 Islamic Finance Awards celebrate the success stories that have emerged out of this rapidly growing sector. These institutions have demonstrated resilience even in the face of unexpectedly low growth last year caused by low oil prices, global trade disputes and political instability.
They have achieved this by capitalising on new opportunities such as the digitalisation of the banking sector. Today, there are more than 100 Islamic fintech companies around the world, according to IFN Fintech. Through the deployment of robo-advisors and the creation of alternative asset marketplaces, these companies stand to significantly boost financial inclusion in North Africa and the Middle East, where the unbanked population is still relatively high.
Digitalisation has also given rise to a burgeoning regulation technology sector. In its Islamic Finance Outlook 2019 Edition report, S&P Global Ratings said that regulations standardising Sharia interpretation and legal documentation could streamline sukuk issuance and help "unlock the full potential of Islamic finance".
Beyond the Gulf states, there are a wealth of new opportunities for the Islamic banking sector around the world. In North Africa and the Middle East, the Muslim population is predicted to increase from 300 million in 2010 to more than 550 million in 2050. Meanwhile, the UK currently has five fully Sharia-compliant banks, a figure experts believe could grow in the coming years.
To see which companies are leading the pack in the Islamic banking sector, check out the full list of this year's Islamic Finance Awards winners in the latest issue of World Finance, available in print, on tablet and online now.
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