Saudi Arabia’s sweeping Vision 2030 program to diversify the country's economy away from oil will have multiple benefits for the global Islamic finance market, according to a senior executive at Moody’s rating agency based in Dubai.
In a phone interview with Al-Monitor, Nitish Bhojnagarwala, senior vice president at Moody’s, said that the kingdom’s program was “positive” for the Islamic finance industry.
Saudi Arabia has the largest Islamic banking market in the world with assets exceeding 3.1 trillion riyals ($830 billion). Roughly 83% of its total banking system assets are Sharia-compliant, said Bhojnagarwala.
“As the economic growth picks up in Saudi Arabia, it's going to benefit the Islamic finance industry more broadly … we expect this to have a spillover effect on both Islamic banks and the Islamic banking market, and sukuk issuance activity should also benefit from all of the plans,” he said. Sukuk are Islamic bonds.