Islamic finance is becoming so attractive that even non-Muslims are joining in

  • Sovereign Islamic debt issuance by non-Muslim countries is set to hit a 3-year high in 2017. The non-speculative nature of Islamic finance can help to ensure financial stability — a reason why it’s gaining traction globally, experts told CNBC.
  • Islamic finance has traditionally been dominated by Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Now much of the rest of the world is getting in on it.
  • The government of Singapore was one of the earliest non-Muslim entrants into the space, followed by the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Hong Kong, which issued their first sukuk in 2014. More recently, African nations such as South Africa, Nigeria and Ivory Coast have made legal and tax changes to, among others, make it easier for borrowers to issue sukuk.
  • Experts told CNBC that notwithstanding the challenges, the Islamic finance sector is still poised for growth. The industry’s size is expected to expand further to $3.5 trillion by 2021 as countries and companies look for alternative funding sources, and tap a larger pool of investors.

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