ADB sees prospects for Islamic finance

Asia needs to invest about $8 trillion in overall national infrastructure, the use of cross-border financing and investment through Islamic finance will help to widen the investor base and lower the cost of financing for well-structured investments, the Asian Development Bank said. In recent years, Islamic finance has been enjoying growth rates of 20 per cent a year, most of which comes from Asia. Increased activity is expected in Thailand, China, Bangladesh and India as well as more traditional market such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan. The conference on Islamic Finance for Asia, opening in Manila on Monday, aims to create greater awareness on the potentials and opportunities brought about by Islamic finance to the region.