Growth continues for Islamic financial institutions, helped by technology and product innovations.

Author: Darren Stubing

Growth in assets and net profits across most markets in which they have significant client base made 2018 a pretty good year for Islamic financial institutions (IFIs). Realizing the importance of innovation in the face of competition from conventional banks as well as earch other, IFIs are increasingly investing in technology. The winners of Global Finance’s Islamic Finance Awards 2019 are institutions that have focused on product innovation supported by technology and service—and applied it successfully to generate good financial performance.

The past year provided a strong environment for innovation, as IFIs’ fundamentals remained solid. Award winners saw healthy increases in earnings, and returns were good and maintained sound margins. Impairment costs were generally lower, fee income was higher and a number of institutions strengthened their balance sheets through Basel III-compliant debt issues.

Kuwait Finance House (KFH), Global Finance’s Best Islamic Financial Institution award winner, continued to release new products and services and is today is one of the biggest Islamic financial institutions in the world, with a network across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, Turkey, and other Asian and European countries. KFH’s net profit grew strongly in 2018, rising by 24% year-on-year, while return on average equity jumped to 13.14% from 10.48%.

KFH is currently undertaking due diligence in connection with its planned takeover of Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank, a potential game-changer for the Islamic finance industry. If consummated, this would be the GCC’s first major cross-border deal, creating the region’s sixth-largest bank, with assets in excess of $92 billion. More mergers are considered likely going forward as IFIs look to build scale and remain competitive.

Institutions across the sector are positioning themselves for further growth. Bank Rakyat Indonesia Syariah, a subsidiary of Bank Rakyat Indonesia, the largest state-owned bank In Indonesia, went public last May. Malaysia’s CIMB Islamic Bank initiated an enhanced trade network, linking businesses across China and the ASEAN region through trade infrastructure to take advantage of the growth in global demand for halal products. Many conventional banks are also building their Shariah-compliant business in key markets. Standard Chartered, through Saadiq, its global Islamic banking business, is increasing its asset base and delivery of new services and products. 

The key sukuk (bond) market saw a slight tapering off in 2018. Sukuk sales totaled $46 billion, down from a record in the previous year. To date, however, 2019 looks to be a solid year, boasting some important issues from Indonesia and Turkey. In March, for example, Indonesia raised more than 21 trillion rupiah ($1.5 billion) via a retail sukuk bond sale, more than twice the government’s target.


WORLD'S BEST ISLAMIC

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS 2019

GLOBAL WINNERS

Category
Bank
Best Islamic Financial Institution Kuwait Finance House
Best Sukuk Bank CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad
Best Islamic Retail Bank Standard Chartered Saadiq
Best Islamic Investment Bank Samba Financial Group
Best Islamic Custodian BNY Mellon Asset Servicing
Best Islamic Fund Manager Jadwa Investment
Best Islamic SME Bank Maybank Islamic
Best Islamic Corporate Bank Samba Financial Group
Best Islamic Asset Manager Al Rajhi Capital
Best Islamic Bank for CSR CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad
Best Islamic Trade Finance Provider Kuwait Finance House
Best Islamic Takaful Etiqa Takaful Berhad
Best Islamic Project Finance Provider Qatar Islamic Bank
Best Up-and-Coming Islamic Financial Institution Bank Rakyat Indonesia Syariah
Best Islamic Window Standard Chartered Saadiq
Sukuk Deal Of The Year Standard Chartered Saadiq: Al Rayan Bank PLC-Tolkien Funding Sukuk No.1 PLC
IPO/Equity Deal Of The Year BRI Syariah
Real Estate Deal Of The Year Standard Chartered Saadiq—Aldar Investment Properties LLC. Aldar Sukuk
Best Islamic Asset Manager Al Rajhi Capital
Best Islamic Bank for CSR CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad

REGIONAL WINNERS

Africa Al Baraka Banking Group
Asia Maybank Islamic Berhad
Europe KT Bank
Middle East Kuwait Finance House

COUNTRY WINNERS

Afghanistan Afghanistan International Bank
Algeria Banque Al Baraka D’Algérie
Bahrain Al Salam Bank
Bangladesh Standard Chartered Saadiq Bangladesh
Brunei Darussalam Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam
Egypt Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt
Indonesia Bank Muamalat Indonesia
Iraq Iraqi Islamic Bank for Investment & Development
Jordan Jordan Islamic Bank
Kazakhstan Al Hilal Bank
Kuwait Boubyan Bank
Lebanon Al Baraka Bank
Malaysia Maybank Islamic Berhad
Morocco Dar Assafaa
Nigeria Jaiz Bank
Oman Bank Nizwa
Pakistan Meezan Bank
Palestine Palestine Islamic Bank
Qatar Qatar Islamic Bank
Saudi Arabia Al Rajhi Bank
Singapore Maybank Islamic Berhad
South Africa HBZ Bank
Sri Lanka Amana Bank
Sudan QIB Sudan
Tunisia Banque Zitouna
Turkey Kuveyt Türk Katilim Bankasi
UAE Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Methodology

Global Finance editors, with input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts, selected the winners for the Best Bank Awards using entries provided by banks and other providers, as well as independent research, based on a series of objective and subjective factors. It is not necessary to enter in order to win, but experience shows that the additional information supplied in an entry can increase the chance of success. In many cases, entrants are able to present details and insights that may not be readily available to the editors of Global Finance.

Judgements were based on performance over the period from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. We applied an algorithm to shorten the list of contenders and arrived at a numerical score, with 100 equivalent to perfection. The proprietary algorithm includes criteria—such as knowledge of local conditions and customer needs, financial strength and safety, strategic relationships and governance, competitive pricing, capital investment and innovation in products and services—weighted for relative importance.

Once we have narrowed the field, our final criteria include scope of global coverage, size of staff, customer service, risk management, range of products and services, execution skills and smart use of technology. In the case of a tie, our bias leans toward a local provider rather than a global institution. We also tend to favor privately owned banks over government-owned institutions. The winners are those banks and providers that best serve the specialized needs of corporations as they engage in global business. The winners are not always the biggest institutions, but rather the best—those with qualities that companies should look for when choosing a provider.


BEST ISLAMIC FINANCIAL INSTITUTION BEST SUKUK BANK

Kuwait Finance House

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) is one of the pioneers in Islamic banking; it wins the global Best Islamic Financial Institution award based on its continuing development of new products and services and strong financial profile. KFH has steadily expanded its business and today is one of the largest Islamic financial institutions in the world, ranked fifth in terms of assets with a network of over 500 branches.

KFH’s range of Islamic banking products and services covers real estate, trade finance and investments, as well as commercial, retail and corporate banking. It is committed to diversifying its investment and business opportunities by expanding globally. KFH is also focusing on fintech and today provides 20 high-tech banking services—many of which are unique, such as the innovative XTM service allowing visual and audio communication options.

As 2018 closed, KFH’s total assets stood at $58.5 billion, with equity of $6.8 billion. Net profit grew strongly, rising by 24% year-on-year, while return on average equity jumped to 13.14% from 10.48%. The bank was named the top primary dealer for the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation’s sukuk program in 2018.

KFH is active in Turkey through its subsidiary, Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank (KTPB), which is one of the country’s largest Islamic banks. KTPB had obtained a license to operate an Islamic bank in Germany under the name KT Bank AG, the first such bank to accept deposits and credit finance facilities in Germany following Islamic rules. KT Bank continues to innovate and grow the footprint of Islamic banking in the EU with the launch of a new mobile app and a Shariah-compliant type of installment card (in lieu of a Western-style credit card), as well as the promotion of Islamic finance philosophies through vehicles such as the global Faith & Finance Conference, the Islamic Finance Task Force and the Turkish-German Health Foundation.

KFH itself is currently undertaking due diligence on its planned takeover of Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank, which would create the Gulf’s sixth-largest bank.

BEST SUKUK BANK

CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad

CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad is the global Islamic banking and finance franchise of Kuala Lumpur–headquartered CIMB Group, the fifth-largest banking group in ASEAN. CIMB Islamic, which offers comprehensive Shariah-compliant financial solutions in investment banking, consumer banking, asset management, private banking and wealth management, enjoyed a strong year in 2018 in the sukuk market, gaining significant market share. Globally, its sukuk deal count and volume jumped sharply, achieving top ranking in the sukuk-league table.

CIMB Islamic has strong debt capital markets experience globally. It was a leader in recent landmark global sovereign, quasi-sovereign, supranational and corporate sukuk issuances in 2018, including for the Republic of Indonesia ($3 billion in trust certificates), Islamic Development Bank ($1.3 billion and $1.25 billion) and Tenaga Nasional Berhad ($750 million sukuk wakalah).

BEST ISLAMIC RETAIL BANK

Standard Chartered Saadiq

Standard Chartered continues to play a leading role in the industry through its global Islamic banking unit, and its momentum accelerated in 2018. Standard Chartered Saadiq is the only international Islamic bank with retail businesses in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and it offers retail Islamic banking in seven markets—the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Kenya and Indonesia—serving all retail-client segments. It offers a full range of retail products: credit cards, personal finance, auto finance, business finance, home finance and wealth management solutions. Distribution is through dedicated Saadiq branches as well as conventional branches. 

Standard Chartered Saadiq has introduced a number of first-to-market products and provides several digital banking solutions. Assets grew strongly in 2018, particularly in Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, the UAE and Indonesia, and it introduced a number of new products last year in home finance, credit cards, wealth management and deposit products.

BEST ISLAMIC INVESTMENT BANK

Samba Financial Group

Samba has been on a roll. Total assets hit $61.3 billion at the end 2018 with $11.3 billion in equity, and net profit grew to $1.5 billion with a return on average assets of 2.41%. The bank’s success rests partly on its strong dealmaking business; over the past few years, Samba has arranged over $44 billion in syndicated deals across the GCC as the bank took an active part in structuring, coordinating and arranging debt facilities for borrowers.

Samba’s Islamic debt-structuring expertise covers multiple market segments, including corporate-level financing, project financing and capital markets (sukuk). Its practice, this includes most Islamic syndicated financing transactions, in which Samba has served as arranger or bookrunner, adviser or coordinator.

Samba has crafted complex Islamic treasury products, such as Islamic structured deposit (dual murabaha structure), swaptions, trigger swaps, cancellable swaps and forex Wa’ad target redemptions (FX-TARN). Other activities include collateralized murabaha. Samba was recently involved in the conversion for a major corporate of 3 billion Saudi Arabian riyal ($800 million) in conventional finance to murabaha. It was a unique deal in which Samba provided the Shariah structure, agency and Islamic operational support in the form of commodity intraday funding.

BEST ISLAMIC CUSTODIAN

BNY Mellon Asset Servicing

BNY Mellon Asset Servicing is the world’s largest global custodian, offering custody and securities-servicing solutions to institutional investors including Shariah-compliant funds and managers, although it doesn’t break out the latter group specifically. It had $33 trillion assets under custody and administration as of the end of 2018 and operates in over 100 markets. 

BEST ISLAMIC FUND MANAGER

Jadwa Investment

Riyadh-headquartered Jadwa Investment boasts a comprehensive offering of Shariah-compliant funds to a customer base ranging from government to institutional to retail. Assets under management total $6.8 billion, and assets under advisory include $3.1 billion in private equity, public equity, real estate, fixed income and advisory. Jadwa is one of the world’s largest Shariah-dedicated asset managers, and most of its funds have outperformed their one-year, three-year and five-year benchmarks.

BEST ISLAMIC SME BANK

Maybank Islamic

Maybank Islamic is the largest Islamic bank in the ASEAN region and one of the five largest Islamic banks globally, with total assets of $55 billion. In Malaysia, it controls 30% of the Islamic banking industry and its products and services are available through a network across Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, London and Bahrain.

Maybank Islamic’s stronghold in Singapore positions it as the regional funding center for Islamic banking in ASEAN, and a conduit for Islamic funding from the rest of the world into the region. Total Islamic financing assets grew by over 20% in 2018.

The bank’s expertise in services for small to midsize companies is a particular focus. In 2018, Maybank Islamic created a new digital SME service that speeds up approvals through a user-friendly online channel. SMEs and the business banking (BB) segment can now submit business loan applications via Maybank Islamic’s internet banking apps, Maybank2u and M2UBiz.

BEST ISLAMIC CORPORATE BANK

Samba Financial Group

Samba’s big balance sheet and strong corporate banking division have enabled it to expand over the past several years. A number of high-profile projects in Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC region offered a significant Islamic finance play in 2018, including in power, petrochemicals and other industrial projects. Samba’s corporate banking team is active in murabaha finance, goods financing, murabaha customer finance and tawaruq (cash financing), as well as in Islamic corporate deposits, derivatives and gold financing.

BEST ISLAMIC ASSET MANAGER

Al Rajhi Capital

Al Rajhi Capital is a leading Shariah-compliant asset management house, with some $10 billion in assets under management. The firm offers Shariah-compliant investment products across all major asset classes and investment styles, covering a variety of investment objectives and a range of risk appetites. Offerings include index funds, commodity mudaraba, sukuk, equity, sectoral, IPOs, GCC- and MENA-specific funds, international and multiasset funds, real estate and private equity funds, and discretionary portfolios. 

BEST ISLAMIC BANK FOR CSR

CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad

CIMB Islamic’s CSR offerings aim to empower diverse communities, support entrepreneurs, improve the quality of life and promote environmental conservation and sustainable development. The bank launched 21 projects in 2018, in addition to a number of projects with universities—such as providing wider access to educational and vocational opportunities—and a flagship project with the World Wildlife Fund to support rivers and local environments.

BEST ISLAMIC TRADE FINANCE PROVIDER

CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad

CIMB Islamic Bank raised its profile in 2018 with initiatives including the China-ASEAN Halal Trade Corridor, an enhanced trade network that links businesses across China and the ASEAN region to take advantage of the growth in global demand for halal products. The strategy is gathering momentum, with potential opportunities to build similar trade corridors with other regions.

Multi Currency Trade Financing-I (MCTF-I), a new capability that CIMB Islamic launched last year, closes the gap between conventional and Islamic trade finance. MCTF-I allows the bank to offer short-term financing of Shariah-compliant goods and services that cater to customers who require financing for their sales or purchases on either a documentary credit, collection, or open account basis. CIMB’s Islamic transaction banking focuses on encouraging the growth of Islamic cash and trade businesses, improving customer utilization of trade facilities and supporting the Halal Trade Corridor strategy. CIMB Islamic is also covering Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore as part of a pioneering global digital trade community with leading international banks.

BEST ISLAMIC TAKAFUL

Etiqa Takaful Berhad

Etiqa Family Takaful Berhad—which added “Family” to its name late last year—is a subsidiary of Maybank Ageas Holdings Berhad, a group that includes Etiqa General Takaful Berhad. With a wide range of products and services and total assets amounting to some $4 billion, Etiqa Family Takaful manages general, family and investment-linked takaful (insurance) businesses, primarily in Malaysia. It offers policies for auto, education, health, home, personal accident, savings, travel, life and family, as well as investment-linked insurance products, group medical insurance and asset-liability protection insurance.

BEST ISLAMIC PROJECT FINANCE PROVIDER

Qatar Islamic Bank

The sixth-largest Islamic bank globally, QIB produced especially strong results on the back of its project finance expertise in 2018. Supported by $42 billion in assets and $4.2 billion in equity, QIB is active in a range of big-ticket Islamic project finance deals, particularly in the domestic market.  Recent deals include providing 1.7 billion Qatari riyals ($467 million) in direct finance for 10 years toward the development of two five-star hotels, and a mixed-financing deal for Hassanesco Trading and Contracting that included direct finance, a performance bond and an advance-payment bond.

BEST UP-AND-COMING FINANCIAL INSTITUTION

Bank Rakyat Indonesia Syariah

Bank Rakyat Indonesia Syariah, a subsidiary of Bank Rakyat Indonesia, the largest state-owned bank in Indonesia, went public and listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange last May. The IPO is expected to rapidly increase BRI Syariah’s Islamic financing activities in a market with significant potential. Around 80% of the IPO proceeds will be allocated to boost infrastructure, with around 12% going to IT and 8% channeled into new branches. Business expansion should accelerate as the bank focuses on retail-based financing—mainly consumer retail and micro retail—as well as commercial financing, primarily aimed at state-owned enterprises. BRI Syariah has assets of around $2.2 billion and $360 million in equity, the latter having doubled following the IPO.

SUKUK DEAL OF THE YEAR

Standard Chartered Saadiq, Al Rayan Bank: Tolkien Funding Sukuk No. 1

Standard Chartered Saadiq, acting as joint lead manager and bookrunner, successfully priced the largest-ever UK Islamic residential mortgage backed security (RMBS) offering for Al Rayan Bank, the UK’s first wholly Shariah-compliant retail bank. This transaction marked a milestone in the development of Islamic finance and opens up a new funding avenue for Islamic banks in the UK and beyond. The RMBS offering was Al Rayan Bank’s inaugural public transaction.

IPO/EQUITY DEAL OF THE YEAR

Bri Syariah

BRI Syariah Indonesia’s IPO last year marked a significant event in the expansion of Islamic financing in Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population. The deal raised 1.3 trillion Indonesian rupiah ($91.9 million) and was the first of its kind for a state-owned Islamic banking subsidiary. It boosted BRI Syariah’s classification to Bank BUKU III (Tier III), the ranking for banks with minimum core capital of Rp5 trillion. Thanks to the new capital, BRI Syariah is expected to grow quickly over the short and medium term.

REAL ESTATE DEAL OF THE YEAR

Standard Chartered Saadiq–Aldar Investment Properties; Aldar Sukuk (Tie)

Acting as joint global coordinator, joint lead manager and joint bookrunner, Standard Chartered Saadiq in September priced a $500 million, seven-year Reg S senior unsecured fixed-rate sukuk (Sukuk-al-Wakala) for Aldar Investment Properties. The transaction marked the first-ever corporate sukuk from the GCC region in the seven-year tenor. 

Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi’s largest real estate company, carried out a corporate reorganization, establishing a new entity, AlP, to house its income-generating real estate assets. In so doing, AlP achieved a higher rating than its parent, Aldar Properties.

REGIONAL WINNERS

AFRICA

Al Baraka Banking Group

A Bahrain-based institution, Al Baraka Banking Group is the leading Islamic bank across the African continent. With $24 billion in assets at the end of last year, Al Baraka has a broad geographical presence in the form of subsidiary banking units, and representative offices in 16 countries operating through 700 branches. It also has the widest geographical reach among Islamic financial institutions, with a strong presence in Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, South Africa, Turkey, Jordan, Sudan, Bahrain, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Libya.

ASIA

Maybank Islamic

Maybank Islamic has long been one of the leading Islamic financial institutions globally, and multiple times has been a first mover in bringing innovative Shariah-compliant financial products to the market. That has enabled it to compile a record of strong performance over time on a high level of service and well-executed strategy. With assets of $51 billion, it is the largest Islamic bank in ASEAN. Its main market is Malaysia, where it controls one-third of Islamic assets, but its activities extend into Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Labuan. In Indonesia, its business grew by 23% in 2018. It ranked third last year in global sukuk deals, with a 9% market share; in Malaysian ringgit, it ranks first, with a 25% market share.

EUROPE

KT Bank

KT Bank—the first and only bank in the Eurozone offering Islamic financial products and services—maintained good progress in 2018. Islamic banking assets grew, supported by the introduction of new, leading-edge products and services and market movement toward advanced digitization. With a current balance sheet totaling more than $340 million, KT Bank has posted rising volumes and attracted a growing, sustainable client base in the retail, corporate and institutional sectors. Product extension in 2018 included the introduction of a pioneering payment solution alongside ongoing investment in technology, such as a mobile banking app. KT Bank also began working with a German fintech to launch new Islamic investment products.

MIDDLE EAST

Kuwait Finance House

KFH is one of the biggest financiers in the Middle East, with a long track record of good financial performance, a strong balance sheet and product innovation. Net profit grew strongly in 2018, rising 24% year-on-year, while return on average equity jumped to 13.14% from 10.48% and return on average assets rose to a solid 1.51%. KFH is conducting due diligence on its planned takeover of Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank, which would create the Gulf region’s sixth-largest bank with assets exceeding $92 billion.

COUNTRY WINNERS

AFGHANISTAN

Afghanistan International Bank

The leading private institution in Afghanistan, AIB started operations in 2004, soon after the fall of the Taliban. Today it has assets of around $1 billion, and provides a range of Islamic banking products and services through a relatively wide domestic branch network.

ALGERIA

Banque Al Baraka D’algérie

A unit of the Al Baraka Banking Group, Banque Al Baraka D’Algérie has posted solid growth in its Shariah-compliant banking services and activities in Algeria. It serves a growing client base, with Islamic deposits and financing through a network of 30 branches.

BAHRAIN

Al Salam Bank

Through its branch and digital networks, Al Salam Bank offers a comprehensive range of innovative and unique Islamic financial products and services, such as iBank, online home applications and Bahrain’s first contactless credit cards. In addition to retail banking, it provides corporate banking, private banking, investment and treasury services. Al Salam Bank’s total assets totaled $4.5 billion at the end of 2018, while net profit rose to $49 million. The bank also boasts a strong balance sheet, with a core Tier 1 capital ratio of over 18%. 

BANGLADESH

Standard Chartered Saadiq Bangladesh

Standard Chartered Saadiq’s Bangladeshi unit has recorded good growth over the past few years; assets rose by a further 18% in 2018, and deposits by 15%. The bank provides a wide range of Shariah-compliant deposit products, along with credit cards, auto finance, mortgage finance, business banking offerings, corporate and transaction banking, and capital and financial market services.

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam holds the leading market position in Islamic finance in Brunei Darussalam and has posted good growth in recent years. Its balance sheet now exceeds $7.1 billion and 2018 net profit hit $84 million.

ALGERIA

Banque Al Baraka D’algérie

A unit of the Al Baraka Banking Group, Banque Al Baraka D’Algérie has posted solid growth in its Shariah-compliant banking services and activities in Algeria. It serves a growing client base, with Islamic deposits and financing through a network of 30 branches.

BAHRAIN

Al Salam Bank

Through its branch and digital networks, Al Salam Bank offers a comprehensive range of innovative and unique Islamic financial products and services, such as iBank, online home applications and Bahrain’s first contactless credit cards. In addition to retail banking, it provides corporate banking, private banking, investment and treasury services. Al Salam Bank’s total assets totaled $4.5 billion at the end of 2018, while net profit rose to $49 million. The bank also boasts a strong balance sheet, with a core Tier 1 capital ratio of over 18%. 

BANGLADESH

Standard Chartered Saadiq Bangladesh

Standard Chartered Saadiq’s Bangladeshi unit has recorded good growth over the past few years; assets rose by a further 18% in 2018, and deposits by 15%. The bank provides a wide range of Shariah-compliant deposit products, along with credit cards, auto finance, mortgage finance, business banking offerings, corporate and transaction banking, and capital and financial market services.

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam holds the leading market position in Islamic finance in Brunei Darussalam and has posted good growth in recent years. Its balance sheet now exceeds $7.1 billion and 2018 net profit hit $84 million.

EGYPT

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt

A leading player in Egypt’s fast-expanding Islamic finance market, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt had a strong year in 2018. Growth in assets was an impressive 31% to $2.8 billion, and net profit rose 35% to $48 million; return on assets was a high 2%. ADIB Egypt is investing heavily in technology; a major launch last year was a credit-automation program for business banking.

INDONESIA

Bank Muamalat Indonesia

Founded in 1991, Bank Muamalat was Indonesia’s Shariah-financing pioneer; today, it holds total assets of about $4.5 billion. The Islamic Development Bank holds a 32.7% ownership share, while National Bank of Kuwait and Boubyan Bank also hold large stakes.

IRAQ

Iraqi Islamic Bank For Investment & Development

Despite continued instability in the country itself, Iraqi Islamic Bank for Investment & Development experienced good growth and healthy profitability in 2018. Assets now total $489 million and equity stands at $228 million. IIBID offers savings, deposit and corporate accounts, as well as guarantee, murabaha, ijara and istisna products, and credit cards; it also provides mutual insurance products and services.

JORDAN

Jordan Islamic Bank

Jordan Islamic Bank is the country’s largest Islamic bank—and, in recent years, its best performing. It ended 2018 with total assets of $6.5 billion and posted a net profit of $70 million.

KAZAKHSTAN

Al Hilal Bank

The first Islamic bank in Kazakhstan, Al Hilal Islamic Bank is a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank, which is 100% owned by the Abu Dhabi government. Its asset base grew an impressive 51% in 2018, albeit from a relatively small base. Al Hilal Bank shook hands in January on a merger with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Union National Bank, which will make the Kazakh unit part of much larger institution, the Gulf region’s fifth-biggest lender.

LEBANON

Boubyan Bank

Last year was pivotal for Boubyan Bank as it continued to forge its way into the digital and fintech world, introducing numerous improvements and enhancements to existing services. Total assets rose 9% to $14.3 billion, and net profit was up 18% to $185 million.

MALAYSIA

Maybank Islamic

Maybank Islamic is Malaysia’s flagship Islamic bank, controlling 30% of the market in 2018. It offers a significant range of products and services and is known for its innovation in home loans, financial structuring and investment accounts, as well as its strong financial profile. In nearly all areas, it holds a dominant market position.

MOROCCO

Dar Assafaa

Dar Assafaa (Bank Assafa) is a subsidiary of Attijariwafa Bank, the leading bank in Morocco. Assafa received its formal license in 2017 from Bank Al Maghrib, Morocco’s central bank, and since then has recorded robust growth. In this, Dar Assafaa benefits from its connection with Attijariwafa and its parent’s expertise in retail and corporate banking.

NIGERIA

Jaiz Bank

The first Islamic financial institution in Nigeria, Jaiz Bank obtained its license in 2016, enabling it to expand nationwide. While its balance sheet remains small, it recorded growth of 20% in 2018, with assets standing at $275 million at the end of the year.

OMAN

Bank Nizwa

Bank Nizwa is the largest and fastest-growing Islamic bank in Oman. Both its retail and corporate client base are increasing, the latter boosted by an electronic channel that the bank says will support online banking, with advanced features specifically servicing corporate customers. Net profit increased by 98% to $19.5 million in 2018, and total assets grew by 25% to reach $2.3 billion.

PAKISTAN

Meezan Bank

Meezan is Pakistan’s fastest-growing domestically headquartered bank, with a network of 660 branches in more than 180 cities and an asset base of over 928 billion Pakistani rupee ($6.55 billion). It offers a range of products and services targeted at the broader public as well as mid-tier and premium banking customers. Deposits rose by 18% in 2018, with a 22% increase in financing (or loans, in Western banking parlance).

PALESTINE

Palestine Islamic Bank

The fourth-largest bank in Palestine, PIB’s assets stood at just over $1 billion at the end of 2018. For the country, it provides a good product range and has a quite sophisticated online banking service. Return on average assets was a sound 1.4%.

QATAR

Qatar Islamic Bank

QIB remains Qatar’s flagship Islamic financial institution, with a market share of about 42% of Islamic banking assets and strong operations across wholesale and retail banking. QIB Group has a stake in a number of Qatari Shariah-compliant financial services companies as well, covering investment banking, takaful and consumer finance. QIB’s total assets were $42 billion at the end of 2018; net profit rose 15% to $757 million over the course of the year.

SAUDI ARABIA

Al Rajhi Bank

Al Rajhi Banking Corporation is the world’s largest Islamic bank. It has the largest customer base in Saudi Arabia at more than nine million, the biggest retail network in the Middle East and the market’s highest percentage of noncommission deposits out of total deposits in the kingdom. Total assets stood at $97 billion at the end of 2018 and the bank posted net profit for the year of $2.7 billion, 13% higher year-on-year. Return on assets is also rising for Al Rajhi, coming in at 2.9% in 2018, against 2.7% in 2017.

SINGAPORE

Maybank Islamic Berhad

Maybank Islamic offers the only Shariah-compliant bank financing in Singapore, tailored for the growing retail and SME segments. Financing assets grew by 22% in 2018 and total assets reached $1.7 billion. 

SOUTH AFRICA

HBZ Bank

HBZ Bank, wholly owned by Habib Bank AG Zurich, saw business expand in 2018 through financing activities; its balance sheet now tops $400 million.

SRI LANKA

Amana Bank

Amana Bank wins the best Islamic bank award in Sri Lanka due to its product range and performance. Total assets increased to $422 million in 2018, and net profit rose to $3.4 million. The bank has a dominant franchise in the Islamic banking sector in Sri Lanka and a comprehensive product suite of investment and financing services.

SUDAN

QIB Sudan

QIB Sudan provides Shariah-compliant corporate-finance and trade-finance solutions to major corporates in the country. Backed by Qatar Islamic Bank, which has assets of around $1 billion and a capital adequacy ratio of 18.8%, QIB Sudan has a solid financial profile.

TUNISIA

Banque Zitouna

Headquartered in Le Kram, Tunisia, Banque Zitouna offers a range of Shariah-compliant services and products to a growing Islamic customer base in Tunis. Banque Zitouna’s asset base has grown solidly over the past few years, and now tops $1.1 billion.

TURKEY

Kuveyt Türk Katilim Bankasi

Majority owned by Kuwait Finance House, KTKB has grown steadily through serving both retail and corporate customers. At the end of 2018, KTKB reported total assets of $14.1 billion. Net profit was $173 million in 2018, the highest among Turkey’s Islamic banks.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

ADIB’s enhanced digital-banking platforms helped it attract over 60,000 new customers in 2018. Structurally, a major achievement was the strengthening of the bank’s capital position through a successful rights issue and issuance of a Tier 1 perpetual sukuk. ADIB reported record net profit of $681 million for 2018, up 8.7% from the previous year, driven by growth in customer financing and lower provision impairment charges.