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UAE Islamic banking assets ‘will boost halal sector’

DUBAI, June 28, 2017

The UAE’s Dh522 billion ($142 billion) Islamic banking assets will help fuel the growth of the country’s Halal sector, according to research conducted by Orange Fairs and Events, organisers of the Halal Expo Dubai 2017.

Seven Islamic banks out of the 23 registered commercial banks in the UAE represent nearly a fifth of the country’s banking assets. Islamic banks’ assets grew more than 3 times of the Conventional banks’ assets during the first quarter of 2017, according to the UAE Central Bank’s latest quarterly report.

“In the first quarter of 2017, Islamic banks’ assets had a higher growth (3.2 per cent) than the Conventional ones (1 per cent), while on an annual basis Islamic banks grew by 8 per cent and continued to dominate the Conventional banks growth that showed an increase of 5.9 per cent,” the report, issued by the UAE Central Bank, said.

“The share of Conventional banks’ assets at the end of 2017 Q1 is 80.3 per cent of the total, while the share of the Islamic banks assets is 19.7 per cent. Islamic banks’ financing growth has been dominating the Conventional banks’ loans increase in the first quarter of 2017 in almost all subcategories, with exception of financing to Government and GREs.”

Gross credit of the Islamic banks in the UAE recorded a 8.4 per cent growth to Dh343 billion – or nearly double the rate of 4.4 per cent growth rate of gross credit of the Conventional banks in the first quarter of 2017.

Similarly, domestic credit growth of the Islamic banks also rose 7.4 per cent to Dh325 billion in the first quarter of 2017. The growth rate is nearly double than the 4.1 per cent growth in domestic credit growth of the Conventional banks.

Higher assets and gross credit growth rates empower the Islamic banks to fund the Halal industries and help fuel the growth of Halal or Islamic economic activities. By nature, Islamic banks engage in ethical finance and asset-based lending – that eliminates speculation-based high-risk financial activities and insulate the sector from economic crises – witnessed during the 2008-09 global financial crisis – when the asset-based ethical finance emerged stronger and helped Islamic banks to overcome the stress tests by a wider margin compared to the conventional lenders – many of whom collapsed and had to be bailed out by governments.

Islamic banks’ credit to individuals recorded a 7.6 per cent to Dh126 billion in the first quarter, compared to 2 per cent growth in the Conventional banks’ credit to individuals that reached Dh224 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

Raees Ahmed, director of Orange Fairs and Events, said: “This means Islamic banks’ personal finance, Islamic credit card sector is growing at a higher rate than that of the Conventional banks’ personal finance and credit card segment.”

“The split between Conventional and Islamic banks indicates that the growth in Islamic financing is much steeper than that for the Conventional banks’ loans. This effectively means that lending in the Halal sector is going up at a much higher rate than that of the non-Halal sector, as was evident in the first quarter of 2017.

“Islamic banks’ credit to the business and industrial sector grew 7.6 per cent to Dh151 billion in the first quarter of 2017. This means that the credit growth to the Halal industries and business sector remains higher compared to the non-Halal industries and services sector. This is also a reflection of the UAE’s growing importance as a centre of the global Halal Economy.

“Besides, the growing global awareness on healthy food, consciousness on cleanliness and hygiene environment is helping the growth of the Halal sector – that promotes healthy, organic, clean and hygienic products and thus protects life from the ill-effects of food and consumables,” Ahmed added.

The 9th edition of the Halal Expo – Dubai 2017, will be held at the Roda Al Bustan hotel on September 18and 19.

Halal Expo Dubai 2017 is the largest and most comprehensive Business-to-Business (B2B) halal exposition in the Middle East for the $2.3 trillion global halal industry. The event, which attracted participation from 13 countries in its previous edition and registered 3,700 trade visitors from 40 countries, expect larger trade participation where buyers and sellers of halal products and services are expected to do brisk business.

Halal Expo Dubai focuses on a number of business verticals, including, halal food, halal beverage, halal fashion, halal cosmetics and personal care products, halal travel and tourism, halal hospitality, halal banking and finance.

This State of the Global Islamic Economy Report, 2016-17, estimates global Muslim spend across sectors at over $1.9 trillion in 2015, while the Islamic Finance sector has around $2 trillion in assets.

Food and beverage tops spend by the global Muslim population, at $1.17 trillion in 2015, followed by clothing and apparel at $243 billion, media and recreation at $189 billion, travel at $151 billion, and spending on pharmaceuticals and cosmetics at $133 billion.

The report estimated the revenues from Halal Certified food and beverage products to be $415 billion; while revenues from halal fashion clothing purchased by Muslim women to be $44 billion and revenues derived from halal tourism services to be $24 billion, in 2015.

“Financing of Halal industries and businesses are expected to get a solid boost with the stronger growth in Islamic banking sector in the UAE and the Halal Expo – Dubai 2017 will help global Halal businesses gather under one roof and explore business opportunities,” Mr. Raees Ahmed says.

“Interestingly, non-Muslims are also fast accepting halal products and services due to the scientific, hygienic benefits and ethical aspects. The term halal is gradually becoming a universal concept, more than an Islamic way of life.

“In this regard, Halal Expo is expected to play a crucial role in promoting halal, healthy, clean and green lifestyle movement across the Gulf region. We expect more than 100 business entities from 13 countries to participate at the two-day exhibition that will showcase the latest trends in halal products and services worldwide.”

The global halal products and services sector is growing at 8 per cent year-on-year to $2.3 trillion (Dh8.44 trillion) – higher than the GDP of more than 200 countries in the world, according to research conducted by Orange Fairs and Events, organisers of the Halal Expo – Dubai, 2017.

Of this, about 67 per cent represents the food and beverage industry, worth $1.4 trillion (Dh5.13 trillion). – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Islamic Banking | Halal Expo |

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