Better growth prospects for Islamic banks

by  — 16 October 2013

Qatar’s four Islamic lenders will almost double their asset base to USD100 billion (QAR364 billion) by 2017, Standard & Poor’s has said in a report entitled Qatar’s Islamic Banks Are On A Fast Track To Growth.

In an exclusive interview with The Edge, Timucin Engin, associate director, Financial Services Ratings, Standard Poor’s said that given the large pipeline of future infrastructure investments, they expect Qatar to register a fast-paced domestic credit growth over the next few years, which will translate into lending opportunities for the country’s Islamic banks as well.

Commenting on whether Islamic banks will perform better than conventional banks, he said, “Kuwait and UAE had more pronounced asset quality deterioration than most other countries in the GCC region during the 2008 and 2009 crisis due to country-specific issues, whereas in Qatar and Saudi, the asset quality deterioration was less pronounced. Consequently, most of the banks both, conventional and Islamic, in KSA and Qatar generally performed better than their peers in the UAE and Kuwait.”

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