Oliver Agha

GCC sees surge in Islamic lending

The GCC countries expect a record year for sukuk issuances in 2012. Already the first half of the year was marked by explosively growing sukuk issuances that reached to US $12.8 billion compared to US$1.9 billion issuead in the same period last year. The sukuk market shall continue growing at the current pace, due to a strong appetite of investors that are demanding Shariah-compliant products.

Is Islamic Finance a Failure? An Assessment -Oliver Agha

Oliver Agha, founding Partner of Agha & Co, a shari'ah-compliant law firm based in the United Arab Emirates, is a board member of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions, and secretary general of the World Islamic Finance Institute.
Islamic finance is torn between the market success of emulating conventional structures and developing genuinely Islamic structures that show its spiritual ethos.
The industry is continuing to grow inspite of its inherent problems, and some market analysts forsee it will be valued at anywhere from $3 to $5 trillion by 2016.
While the spiritual precepts behind Islamic finance support risk sharing and partnerships, many products in the market reflect risk profiles of conventional structures. As disputes in such products/structures expand, the judgments could threaten the future of the industry.
But, as a conclusion, Islamic finance is not a failure. It is never correct to blame a discipline for the failures and shortcomings of its adherents. However, in order to continue to grow in a correct way, it must come back to its spiritual underpinnings best reflected by the motto: "Principle before Profit".

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