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Islamic assets in Saudi Arabia exceed $827bn says Sama

The Islamic banking sector alone accounts for 33 percent of the global Islamic bank assets

Saudi Arabia’s total Islamic assets exceed SAR3.1 trillion ($826.58 billion), said Ayman Al Sayari, governor of the Saudi Central Bank (Sama).

“Saudi Arabia has a deep-rooted and historical relationship with Islamic finance. The Islamic banking sector alone accounts for 33 percent of the global Islamic bank assets,” Al Sayari said at the Islamic Financial Services Board’s council meeting.

On the other hand, the global Islamic finance sector has witnessed accelerated growth, with the value of its assets standing at over SAR11.2 trillion, rising an average of 9.6 percent over the last three years.

The Sama governor stated that the kingdom is the largest sovereign sukuk issuer in the world and its cooperative insurance sector is the fastest growing worldwide, with a growth rate of 27 percent in 2022.

Last October, S&P Global Ratings said that the global Islamic finance industry will expand by 10 percent in 2022 and 2023 thanks to strong economic growth in core markets, high commodity prices and relatively little impact from the Russia-Ukraine war.

However, it added that the sector has struggled to make inroads in non-traditional markets outside the Gulf.

Excluding Iran, the industry’s assets totalled $2.5 trillion as of 2021, of which 66 percent were in the GCC, 14 percent in Malaysia, and 3 percent in each of Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Around 80 percent of all Islamic finance industry assets are in oil-exporting countries.

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