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Late to the party

Late to the party

The $2 trillion global Halal industry is growing and companies in Southeast Asia are taking the lead in globalising halal standards. Where are the Middle Eastern companies in all of this?

April 5, 2011 2:22 by

Investors are invited to take a stake in the Philippine’s sole Sharia lender, Al-Amanah Islamic Bank, which is owned by the Development Bank of the Philippines.

The bank has been recording operational losses from 1990 to 2007.

Although Muslims only take up a tenth of the Philippine population, interest has been peaking over the years. In fact the only predominantly Catholic Southeast Asian nation has recently officially recognised Eid Al Fitr as a non-working holiday.

The first Islamic bank opened in 1975. Now there are over 300 in over 75 countries from Indonesia and Pakistan to the UK and Nigeria. Most notably, the number of Islamic Banks has more than doubled over the past 12 months in the UK, with Islamic banks from the GCC as major shareholders.

While there’s definitely evidence of regional companies expanding into the Middle East, there doesn’t seem to be indications of plans to take the reins in championing a more global approach to Halal practices. And it seems to Kipp that this is a lost opportunity.

A source told Kipp there were small efforts to put together a Halal standards committee last year that were largely met with seemingly feigned interest.

Malaysia has shown an increased interest in Islamic finance. And in Indonesia, through the establishment of a Muslim clerical body, known as the Ulema Council, and market regulators, it has become much easier and more practical for Islamic Banking services to be conducted in the country.

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1 Comment

  1. Mamdooh Al-Radadi on April 6, 2011 4:34 am

    I think that even in the Islamic banking area as you mention with all teh potential there is much room to grow.
    Having worked last year in a leading Islamic Bank I see most of the Islamization of financial products and services takes forever to roll out and in many cases outsourced.
    So let me say that again; Slow, no creativity to market such powerful product offerings, benchmarks are unrealistic in the shifting.

    If were going to start looking at food items, then yes the far east rules in this area, although we are the Islamic capital.

    Many factors cause this to happen and the first in my point of view is educating the customer on the benefits and ease of use, the only users are high profile companies..get the customers on board and watch this sky rocket! thanks for the usual great articles.


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