UAE's Islamic banks to outperform conventional rivals in 2015

The UAE's Islamic finance sector has continued to outpace the UAE's conventional banking sector's growth in 2015, according to ratings agency Fitch. The agency said in a statement that it expects demand for UAE Islamic banks' lending to continue to grow, supported by wider acceptance and an expanding customer base. Fitch added that Islamic banks have managed to reduce exposure to the real estate sector, which was historically higher than for conventional banks. Moreover, UAE Islamic banks will benefit from the central bank's decision this year to include sharia-compliant securities in the range of instruments it accepts as collateral for accessing liquidity.