The Islamic finance industry’s assets will keep expanding globally and may grow to at least $5 trillion from its current $950 billion, Moody’s Investors Service said this month. An Australian government report last year found that removing regulatory barriers to the development of Islamic finance products would provide the nation with better access to a “major source of offshore capital.”
Interest payments are banned under Islam’s Shariah law, which instead promotes profit-sharing agreements or structures that resemble rentals. Such deals are typically backed by physical assets, including natural resources like Australia’s.
Zaid Ibrahim & Co., Malaysia’s largest law firm, said in December that it would open overseas offices in Sydney and Melbourne due to increased demand for Islamic finance advisory services.
Westpac Banking Corp. plans to offer a Shariah-compliant commodity-trading service targeting Islamic institutions, the Sydney Morning Herald reported in February.
source : businessweek.com