Challenges and opportunities in Islamic finance

Luxembourg for Finance, in partnership with QInvest, a leading global Islamic financing institution, hosted an Islamic Finance Workshop in Luxembourg bringing together more than 110 local and international investment fund professionals, bankers, corporates, law firms and industry practitioners.

The workshop addressed topics ranging from Sukuk issuance, notably from a European corporate perspective, the emergence of Islamic high yield financing, the potential of FinTech for the industry, as well as the challenges facing the fast-growing Islamic asset management industry.

The workshop featured presentations by a number of senior figures at QInvest, namely, Hani Ibrahim, Head of Debt Capital Markets; Alexander Armstrong, Head of Financial Institutions & Structured Finance and Dr Ataf Ahmed, Head of Asset Management. They were joined by Luxembourg and international panelists to discuss salient trends and current challenges in the industry.

Following the workshop, Hani Ibrahim, Head of Debt Capital Markets at QInvest, said:

“Luxembourg has long been seen as one of the leading Islamic finance centres in Europe and the high level of interest from financial services participants at this workshop shows the tremendous opportunity for institutions such as QInvest to work in and with Luxembourg. We saw good interest when we helped launch Luxembourg’s debut Euro-denominated Sukuk last year and expect this trend to continue as the financial services industry in the country looks towards Islamic finance as a means to diversify as well as attract capital and products.”

Tom Theobald, Deputy CEO of LFF, commented:

“As the second largest fund centre in the world and home to the world’s leading stock exchange for international securities listings, Luxembourg is today a key centre for the development of Islamic finance in Europe. The high number of participants is testimony of the interest of Luxembourg practitioners in deepening their knowledge of Islamic finance products.”

Luxembourg is today the largest domicile for Islamic funds outside the Muslim world. More than 100 Islamic investment funds have been created in the Luxembourg financial centre.

In addition, the Luxembourg legal framework and investment vehicle toolbox is suited to a broad range of Shariah compliant structures, while the Luxembourg Stock Exchange is a recognized listing centre for international Sukuk issues.