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First Major Report Into Islamic Banking Competitiveness Launched

by Carla Johnson, Investors Offshore.com

22 December 2004


The world’s first comprehensive report into the competitiveness of the Islamic banking sector was launched last weekend in Bahrain.

The World Islamic Banking Conference Competitiveness report compared 10 Islamic banks from around the world, identifying areas in which financial performance can be improved.

According to the report, the most profitable Islamic Banking institution based on equity returns was the Saudi-based Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corporation, which averaged a 25% return between 2000 and 2003.

Kuwait Finance House and First Islamic Bank, based in Bahrain, produced the next best returns with 22% and 19% respectively.

However, in terms of return on total assets, First Islamic was found to be the best performer, returning an average of 7.8% for the years 2000 to 2003. This put the institution significantly ahead of its nearest rivals, Al Rahji and Kuwait Finance House, returning an average 3% and 2.2% respectively.

The WIBC report also compared the banks on a number of other factors such as asset turnover, expense coverage, efficiency and capital adequacy.

Other banks covered in the WIBC report included Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Bahrain-based Al Baraka Islamic Bank, Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, Dubai Islamic Bank, Jordan Islamic Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank and Bahrain-based Shamil Bank.

According to WIBC executive director, David McLean, these particular banks were selected for the study as they represented a reasonably-weighted representation of the international banking industry, and had made public the records needed for the report.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining offshore investment, offshore stock exchanges, and hedge funds is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report9.asp

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