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Factbox: Measuring the world's Islamic financial centers

DUBAI (Reuters) - Competition is escalating between global financial centers - particularly London, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur - to attract Islamic financial business, as the industry grows faster than conventional finance.

Following is a comparative summary of the Islamic finance sectors in the three centers.


Islamic banking assets: $19 billion.

Number of banks: over 20 institutions offer sharia-compliant financial services, including six full-fledged Islamic banks.

Sukuk issuance: over $34 billion raised through 49 issues on London Stock Exchange since 2009.

Scholarship: 60 institutions offer Islamic finance courses and 22 universities have similar degrees.

Strategic strengths: Huge and liquid conventional markets; widely respected legal system.

Strategic weakness: Lack of natural Islamic hinterland.


Islamic banking assets: $75 billion in retail banking assets across United Arab Emirates in 2011.

Number of banks: seven Islamic retail banks in UAE.

Sukuk issuance: $12.1 billion now listed on Dubai exchanges.

Scholarship: The UAE has 31 institutes and 9 universities offering Islamic finance education; the government has also launched the Dubai Centre For Islamic Banking and Finance.

Strategic strengths: Top banking center for Gulf Arab region; entrepreneurial culture; state-run firms which are regular sukuk issuers.

Strategic weakness: Relatively untested as regulatory center.


Islamic banking assets: $135 billion.

Number of banks: 16 Islamic banks.

Sukuk issuance: Outstanding sukuk totaled $148 billion in 2012.

Scholarship: 50 institutions offering industry courses and 18 universities offering degrees.

Strategic strengths: Islamic hinterland in southeast Asia; reputation for strong regulation.

Strategic weakness: Financial markets more focused on domestic business than Dubai and London.

Sources: Islamic Finance Development Indicator; Ernst & Young; local stock exchanges and central banks.

(Compiled by Bernardo Vizcaino; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Peter Graff)