Strong Year for Islamic Lending for Gulf Banks

Banks in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council can thank turbulence in the world’s bond markets for spurring Islamic lending to the highest in three years. Loans that comply with Islam’s ban on interest in the GCC have risen 22 per cent this year to $11.9 billion, the most since 2012. At the same time sales of sukuk dropped 41 per cent to $6.9 billion. The increase in lending will be welcome for banks in the region, where oil’s more than 50 per cent decline in the past 12 months threatens to curtail government spending and clip economic growth. Volatility in US Treasury yields is averaging the highest since 2011 after several global developments, including Greece and China.