Islamic finance could make inroads into North Africa, says S&P report

Islamic finance could develop in North Africa, according to a report titled "Islamic Finance Could Make Inroads Into North Africa" published by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. Large current account deficits and declining conventional financing sources have prompted governments from Arab spring countries to look at opportunities offered by Islamic finance. Moreover, public awareness is increasing. Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco have recently taken steps to implement policies to support the development of Islamic finance. Nevertheless, Islamic finance in this region has yet to demonstrate its economic added value, through creating access to a new class of investors or by offering Sharia-compliant products at costs comparable with their conventional counterparts.