Islamic banks to benefit from Iran’s opening up

As the Iranian economy opens up for business, regional Islamic banks are likely to benefit most as the country’s banking system is governed by Sharia, according to Moody’s. According to the Central Bank of Iran, the country’s banks and other financial institutions held 15,901 trillion Iranian Real ($558 billion) in total assets as of May 2015. Given the sheer size of the banking system and the country’s financing needs, Moody's expects a major boost to sukuk volumes, said Khalid Howladar, senior credit officer at Moody’s. However, Sharia harmonisation across jurisdictions would likely remain difficult, he added. Iran's banking sector is the largest contributor to the global total of Islamic banking assets estimated to account for 45 per cent of $1.2 trillion market.