Very amusing, the hype cycle on Islamic Finance is nearing the top of the "Peak of Inflated Expectations", i would say :) Now South Korea wants to get into the game! I quote:
Korea should work to attract investment from Muslim nations which are enjoying increasing prosperity thanks to soaring oil prices, a report released by the Bank of Korea on Wednesday said.
The Islamic financial industry has been posting annual growth of around 15 percent since 2000 as Muslim oil-producing nations benefit from increasing oil prices.
In the report "Strategies of Global Countries for Dealing with Islamic Finance and Lessons," Korea's central bank said Islamic financial markets have great potential for growth, despite problems such as religious restrictions and under-developed infrastructure, because they account for a mere 0.8 percent of the world's financial assets. That's low given that Muslims take up 28 percent of the world population and the economies of Muslim nations are growing over 4 percent annually.
Japan, where Muslims account for 0.1 percent of the population, issued Islamic bonds in Malaysia in January. Muslims make up 0.2 percent of Korea's population.
The report also said that Korea should not only seek a way to raise funds using Islamic funds which offer favorable purchase conditions and low interest rates, but also work to attract Islamic investment.
All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!