I recently wrote a brief for Global Risk Insights on how Islamic Banking is rapidly spreading across Central Asia and the Caucasus:
The interest in Russia for the regulation of Islamic Banking reflects an even greater interest in the sector across the post-Soviet space. The Post-Soviet states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan have joined the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Islamic Development Bank since gaining independence, which has facilitated the growth of Islamic finance in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Given the spread of Islamic Finance across the Persian Gulf, South Asia, Turkey, and West Africa as well as into Western banking and finance (Great Britain just issued its first sukuk) it was inevitable that the rapidly growing global phenomenon would reach the post-Soviet space. Whether Nursultan Nazarbaev’s dreams of transforming Almaty into Central Asia’s Islamic Finance Hub will be realized remains yet to be seen, however.
(Image courtesy i.dawn.com)