Service sector

Saudi Arabia leads Islamic financial services sector with $800 billion in assets

The Islamic financial services industry in Saudi Arabia holds a leading position globally, said Deputy Governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) for Research and International Affairs, Dr. Fahad Bin Abdullah Al -Dossari.

The industry’s total assets in the banking sector, Sukuk sector, insurance sector and investment fund sectors stood at $800 billion, putting it in the lead, according to the 2021 report of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).

Dossari spoke at the 42nd Al-Baraka Islamic Economics Symposium, which recently ended at the Islamic University of Madinah.

He pointed out that the Islamic financial services industry has seen obvious quantitative growth in assets, adding that it has also grown internationally.

Its global assets stand at around $2.7 trillion, achieving annual growth of more than 10%, Dossari said. He noted that the Islamic banking sector continues to acquire the largest share of the industry’s assets, up to 68%.

The official said the sector has been growing rapidly in Saudi Arabia, with total Sharia-compliant funding amounting to more than $4.5 billion, with an annual growth rate of 18%.

Total Shariah-compliant deposits stood at over $4.7 billion, with an annual growth rate of around 13%.

At the same time, the Saudi Ministry of Investment signed a memorandum of understanding with King Saud University to strengthen cooperation, develop investment opportunities and exchange data and expertise in the field.

It is part of the Ministry’s efforts to achieve its objectives of attracting investment, growing the sector, facilitating access to investment opportunities, localizing knowledge and expertise and strengthening integration efforts between public sectors.

The memorandum will establish regular graduate programs and master’s programs based on the needs of the Ministry of Investment and in its areas of interest.

It will help develop investment opportunities in the university’s assets to serve the objectives of the National Investment Strategy and obtain new resources for the university.

It will also motivate graduate students and their supervisors to embrace fundamental, applied, economic and financial research related to investment.

The agreement provides for courses, seminars and workshops to promote a culture of sustainable investment and support training and development opportunities in investment and entrepreneurship.