Islamic banks performed strongly last year, although expectations of further growth in 2012 remain mixed.
In Pakistan, the State Bank of Pakistan’s July-September 2011 Islamic banking bulletin showed that the industry's profits reached PKR8 billion (US$88.7 million) during the period, growing 58% from the previous quarter.
However, the statistics revealed that earnings growth of conventional banks with Islamic branches was significantly higher than that of fully fledged Islamic banks.
Furthermore, while fully fledged Islamic banks contributed to 55% of the industry’s overall profit, their growth rate was lower than in the previous quarter’s 100% increase, attributed to a low base effect.
Total assets of Pakistan’s Islamic banking industry amounted to PKR568 billion (US$6.3 billion) as at the end of September 2011, constituting 7.3% of the country’s overall banking industry assets.
Meanwhile, the Islamic financial services sector in the UAE has grown to make up 30% of the global Shariah compliant industry in 2011, according to a recent report by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and the Oxford Business Group.
The growth has been attributed to the increasing demand for Islamic financial services, with Islamic banks playing a major role in financing infrastructure projects and residential properties for nationals in the emirates.
In 2010, Islamic banking assets in the MENA region rose to US$416 billion, representing a cumulative annual growth rate of 20% over five years, compared with less than 9% for conventional banks.
The market currently awaits earnings reports from banks in the UAE, although expectations are dampened by continued prospects for provisions and non-performing financing.
source: Islamic Finance News