DOHA: Qatar has issued Islamic bonds (sukuks) worth a staggering $25bn this year, with more than 50 percent of the subscribers representing conventional institutions -- a development that indicates increasing investor confidence in Shariah-compliant investment avenues worldwide, a conference on Islamic banking and finance was told here yesterday.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of Barwa Bank , said while the world is still fighting economic downturn Islamic banking and financing activities have been witnessing growth.
Qatar has issued sukuks worth an incredible $25bn and this has been the highlight of 2012, with subscribers representing different parts of the world. Qatar's example will pave the pave for more sukuk issuance, he said.
The chairman of Barwa Bank said in his opening address to the Third Doha Conference on Islamic Finance' that 2012 has witnessed remarkable expansion of Islamic banking and finance at regional and international levels, according to Qatar News Agency (QNA).
In his address to the event, noted Islamic scholar Dr Yousuf Al Qaradawi, called on Arab Spring countries to put effective laws in place sooner rather than later so that Islamic banks could open their branches in their territories.
He said Arab Spring countries are suffering economically as the toppled regimes have siphoned off trillions of dollars of public money from their coffers and stashed the ill-gotten wealth overseas.
The cleric urged resourceful fellow Arab countries to route investments into these countries to help develop their economies. "These (Arab Spring) countries should, on their part, frame suitable laws to help Islamic banks to set foot in their territories to their benefit," said Al Qaradawi.
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