Islamic Financial Services

Kuwait: Islamic Financial Services

Over the past decade Kuwait has worked to shore up its longstanding reputation as a centre for Islamic financial services, leading to the rapid expansion of sharia-compliant banks and investment companies in recent years. Islamic banking assets, at just over 20% of the total in 2005, grew to around 45% by the end of 2013, and an IMF report released in December 2014 showed Kuwait’s sharia-compliant banking sector is the fifth largest in the world, with more than $68.9bn in assets. Moving forward, the bond market appears poised for a resurgence, with a variety of private and state-owned firms recently announcing plans to issue sukuk, or sharia-compliant bonds. The government has also been preparing to introduce a new, independent insurance regulator since 2012, with draft legislation reportedly including a separate set of rules and regulations for providers of takaful, or Islamic insurance.

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Cover of The Report: Kuwait 2015

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