Australia’s political stability, sizeable domestic economy, supportive infrastructure and developed financial system adds to its chance of becoming a hub for Islamic finance in the region. Nigel Denison discusses.
Islamic finance has a long history. However, it has only developed on a global scale over the last 30 years. In that relatively short space of time the industry has grown rapidly and the global market now exceeds US$1 trillion.
Many will find it surprising that Australia was one of the first developed countries to establish Islamic finance. Shariah compliant cooperatives have been offering personal and small business financial services such as mortgages from the 1990s. Since then growth has been modest; however we expect the pace of development to pick up exponentially in the coming years, with the Australian Islamic finance industry diversifying and expanding away from its traditional base of small cooperative offerings into larger financial organisations and asset managers.