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Reviving Islamic banking sector

KUALA LUMPUR: Top Islamic banking officials will meet in Singapore this week to discuss ways to revive an industry which has stalled as interest in new markets cool and legal uncertainties cloud the role of sukuk as funding tools.

Dwarfed by the size and financial muscle of its conventional banking rival, the $1 trillion Islamic finance industry looks at new markets beyond the Middle East and Southeast Asia for growth.

In the first meeting of top officials since the Middle East unrest broke, Gulf and Asian regulators and bankers will gather tomorrow and Thursday to restore confidence in sukuk as fund-raising instruments.

Once touted as a viable alternative to traditional banking, Islamic finance has failed to make a mark outside its core markets as countries from Britain to Hong Kong and Australia put on hold sukuk issuance plans and proposed regulatory changes to accommodate Sharia banking.



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