Selling Islamic finance to non-Muslims
“No liquidity, no track record and not enough expertise” — these are some of the external criticisms the Islamic finance world must overcome in order to broaden its appeal beyond traditional markets, says CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management chief executive Noripah Kamso.
Islamic stocks, bond-equivalents and asset management have been getting more attention in the mainstream business media in the past few years as Muslim countries’ economies grow and non-Muslims are increasingly looking for investment alternatives. The Dow Jones Islamic World Market index shows the sector has well out-performed ‘traditional’ investments over the past five years. Southeast Asians understood how Islamic investing could fit into their lifestyles but potential customers in Europe and North America still needed more education on the sector’s stability and what it had to offer them, Noripah said.
Others say the sector itself should do more to appeal to non-Muslim investors, who may not fully appreciate the lifestyle aspects of the business but could enjoy good returns and less risk than mainstream offerings.
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