Malaysia took first place as the most developed Islamic finance nation out of 92 countries, scoring 93. Bahrain (76) and Oman (64) were second and third, respectively. The other four GCC countries are also ranked in the top 10, along with Jordan, Pakistan and Brunei.
Bahrain was also ranked as having the best governance in Islamic finance in the world, with the report praising the well-established regulatory framework covering all sectors, and high levels of disclosure.
“Islamic finance has an important role to play within the wider financial sector in Bahrain and the GCC. The growth that the sector has seen is testament to that. We are committed to helping the industry to grow in Bahrain, to working towards addressing ways of boosting international growth and also to working with countries across the world as they look to establish Islamic finance industries in their own markets," said HE Kamal bin Ahmed, minister of transportation and acting chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board.
“For example, in April this year we agreed a joint framework with the United Kingdom to enhance collaboration on Islamic finance at the UK-Bahrain Islamic Finance Summit in London,” added Khalid Hamad, executive director of banking supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).
Bahrain is home to the largest concentration of Islamic financial institutions in the world, including 32 Islamic banks and takaful and retakaful firms.
“In 2001, the Central Bank's predecessor, the Bahrain Monetary Agency, played a leading role in the development of regulatory regimes for the workings of Islamic financial institutions for more than two decades.
“Bahrain has continued to play a leading role in the introduction of these products through issuances. The ranking Bahrain has received is testament to the role we play in the Islamic finance industry.”