Even as financial technology (fintech) is still at its infant stages in Islamic finance and banking sectors in the region, Qatar is taking digital transformation in these sectors seriously and the country is all set to emerge as an Islamic fintech hub in the region, Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Chief Executive Officer Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida has said.
Addressing a media conference yesterday to announce the 5th Doha Islamic Finance Conference, Al Jaida said, “Fintech is a fast growing sector, globally. There’s a $100bn of investments into the entire fintech sector. Islamic finance within all of that is still minimum. However, this conference is a testament that Qatar is using this area seriously to establish itself as an Islamic fintech hub for the greater Mena region; but also even utilising Qatar’s current alliances with other Muslim nations to expand on Islamic finance. We have a solid roadmap together with our partners in Turkey and Malaysia in addition to Pakistan and Indonesia; and moving up the entire fintech strategy within our overall Islamic finance strategy. We’re looking at conducting mutual recognition framework between those nations and allowing transporting between Islamic nations to conduct Islamic finance. Rest assure that mobile banking, fintech, blockchain, crypto currencies is an area that is being pursued aggressively by the country’s government and commercial entities”.
According to Al Jaida, Islamic finance assets are forecast to be worth $3.2 trillion by 2020. He went on to say that the growth of Islamic banking industry assets in Qatar has outpaced that of the conventional banking industry in the past five years, with Islamic banking assets valued at $97bn by the end of 2017. This value constituted 81 percent of the total Islamic finance assets.
“This demonstrates the undeniable robustness and resilience of Qatar’s Islamic banking sector. Additionally, in 2018, the Qatar Stock Exchange listed the world’s largest single-country Islamic exchange-traded fund. All of this points to Qatar’s prominent position as an international and regional hub for Islamic finance, and the country’s commitment to develop digital Islamic financing”, added Al-Jaida.
In its Qatar Islamic Finance Report 2018, the QFC highlighted that Islamic banks in the country have encompassed the largest segment of the Islamic finance market, launching ambitious plans abroad in recent years. However, the report said that a saturated domestic market and regulatory constraints on consumer lending limits prospects for further fast-paced growth in Islamic banking. As a result, Islamic banks are looking to expand into nascent Islamic finance markets abroad, where they can leverage their market expertise and resources to maintain growth.
Source from: The Peninsula