Bahrain has the second most developed Islamic finance sector, after Malaysia, with total assets worth $47 billion, said a recent analysis.
The analysis was based on the ICD-Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI), a numerical measure representing the overall health and growth of the Islamic finance industry worldwide.
The indicator measured five key components – quantitative development, governance, social responsibility, knowledge and awareness – which are adjusted for the relative size of each country.
Bahrain had the second most developed Islamic finance knowledge landscape, with 23 institutions offering degrees and courses in Islamic finance, said the report.
In terms of research, the kingdom had 17 research papers on Islamic finance published in the last three years, of which 12 were peer reviewed.
Bahrain also performed well in terms of governance, with a comprehensive regulatory framework covering all aspects of the Islamic finance industry. This was supplemented with strong sharia governance, with the largest number of Islamic finance scholars based in the kingdom, said the analysis.
The Islamic finance industry in Bahrain also performed well in corporate governance and corporate social responsibility disclosures. In terms of awareness, Bahrain had five seminars and five conferences related to Islamic finance last year and 551 news articles on the subject.
Russell Haworth, managing director, Mena, Thomson Reuters, said: “This indicator will provide companies with much needed unbiased and reliable multi-dimensional analysis regarding the development of the Islamic finance industry. The development of Islamic finance infrastructure will be a key driver for the establishment of the Islamic finance industry.”
Dr Sayd Farook, global head of Islamic Capital Markets for Thomson Reuters, said: “The IFDI provides equal importance to all aspects of the industry when assessing its depth and development. Our initial research indicates that Bahrain is one of the leaders in the Islamic finance industry, identifying their development in each category.”
“This research will enable policy makers and practitioner to compare themselves with their peers and prioritise areas that require development to ensure they retain their leadership position,” he said.
The IFDI, which was officially launched at the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai last week, aims to expand the scope of Thomson Reuters’ Islamic finance content, research and news analysis and to develop an unbiased multi-dimensional barometer for the development of the Islamic finance industry. – TradeArabia News Service.