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Lanka's Islamic Banking assets top Rs 50b

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Melissa Pereira


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics

Lanka's Islamic Banking and Finance (IBF) industry assets have increased to Rs 50 billion in 2014.
"In 2014, the Lankan IBF sector has grown by a strong 42% from 2013's total assets.
That is, 2013's Rs 35 billion IBF, "Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. Bathiudeen addressing the fourth Islamic Banking and Finance (IBF) industry awards event held on Tuesday said the continuous progress of this event over the past few years speaks volumes about the gradual recognition of the Islamic Banking and Finance industry or "IBF" in Sri Lanka.
The penetration of IBF is very low here. Of Sri Lanka's total banking and finance sector assets, less than 01% only belongs to Islamic banking and finance. However, I am pleased to say that there is good news. Despite its small base, Sri Lanka's IBF sector is showing steady growth. In that, in 2014, Lankan IBF sector has grown by a strong 42% from 2013's total IBF assets.
The key reason for Sri Lanka's small IBF base is lack of awareness. More than 85% of Lankan Muslims alone are unaware about IBF and how to join it. Also much more attention and keenness by our national banking and finance sector is needed for us to see bigger IBF growth here.
Lankan banking and finance experts inform me that there are two ways to effectively expand the Islamic finance sector in Sri Lanka.
Firstly, creating a demand from the market -that is from the consumers' side.
Lanka Orix Finance Ltd's 'Al Salaah Islamic Banking Unit' was awarded the 2015 Islamic Financial Entity of the Year. 
Courtesy: Daily News 15 May 2015

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