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Iran, biggest Shariah-compliant market: The Banker


TEHRAN, Nov. 11 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran is the largest market for Shariah-compliant assets, accounting for 35.6 percent of the global aggregate, The Banker magazine's "Top 500 Islamic Financial Institutions" ranking shows, reported ISNA news agency.

Islamic banking assets continued with double-digit growth this year, even as conventional bank growth stagnated, The Banker''s survey said.

The report is the only annual benchmark of its kind, which ranks over 600 retail, commercial and investment banks, insurance companies and asset managers according to their Shariah-compliant assets.

Assets held by fully Shariah-compliant banks or Islamic banking windows of conventional banks, rose by 28.6 percent, to $822b from $639b in 2008.

The Islamic finance industry continues to build a solid track record: the compound annual growth rate for 2006-2009 is 27.86 percent, with assets forecast to hit $1,033b in 2010.

Outside the Middle East, Malaysia remains by far the largest player, accounting for 10.5 percent of the global aggregate, but other markets are expanding rapidly. The UK now accounts for just under 2.5 percent of global Shariah-compliant assets, and the Syrian Islamic finance market expanded an eye-catching 500 percent.

The Banker is the world''s premier banking and finance magazine. Read in 150 countries around the world, The Banker is the key source of data and analysis for the industry. The Banker has been providing global financial intelligence since 1926 and has built a reputation for objective and incisive reporting on major events.

Every month the magazine combines in-depth regional and country coverage with reports on capital markets and structured finance, risk management, working capital management and securities services, environmental finance, trade and project finance, trading, technology and management and governance issues.

Sharia refers to the wide body of Islamic religious law. Used thus, it refers to the legal framework within which the public and private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legal system based on Islamic principles of jurisprudence and for Muslims living outside the domain. Sharia deals with many aspects of day-to-day life, including politics, economics, banking, business, contracts, family, and social issues.

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