The volume of Islamic banking in Egypt amounted to about EGP 429bn in 2021, representing about 5% of the total size of the Egyptian banking market — an increase of EGP 63.6bn from 2020, with a growth rate of 17.4% — according to a report from the Egyptian Islamic Finance Association (Eifa).
Mohamed Al-Beltagy, the Chairperson of the Eifa, said that 14 banks have a licence from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to provide Islamic banking products. They comprised three fully Islamic banks — namely Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt, Al-Baraka Bank Egypt, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt — in addition to 11 banks that have Islamic branches along with their traditional ones.
Al-Beltagy noted that the Egyptian market witnessed the development of many Islamic banking products that meet the needs of customers, adding that there are over 60 banking products available. He also said that the market needs several products that are in line with Islamic Sharia, whether for the retail, corporate, or SMEs sector.
He stressed that developing and qualifying human resources that are capable of providing these products to customers is one of the most important challenges in the Egyptian market, which is what the association is working on by presenting the professional master’s degree in Islamic finance issued by the General Council of Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions and the certificates of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), in addition to certificates and specialised professional programmes to develop skills and increase employees’ knowledge of Islamic banks.
Furthermore, he highlighted the CBE’s directives for Islamic banks and banks that have Islamic branches in Egypt, which stipulate that these banks must have legitimate bodies and an independent financial centre for those branches as well as special departments to supervise the implementation of Islamic products.
In the same context, the association’s report revealed that the size of the Islamic banking industry worldwide by the end of 2021 amounted to more than $3.3trn, according to international reports issued in this regard, and is expected to reach about $3.7trn by the end of 2022.
Furthermore, the association monitored the issuance of four sukuk until the end of 2021 with a value of EGP 7.6bn, and several sukuk issuances were arranged for many companies during 2022 with an expected value of about EGP 10bn, as about three new sukuk issuances are being considered, one of which is worth EGP 3.2bn and will be issued next month for a real estate development company.
The association expects the Egyptian market to witness the issuance of the first sovereign sukuk of the state during the second quarter (2Q) of this year.
According to the report, the Faisal Bank came in first place in the Islamic banking market with a business volume of EGP 131bn — a share of 30.6% of the Islamic banking industry in the Egyptian market — followed by the Islamic branches of Banque Misr with a business volume of EGP 95bn and a share of 22.2%.
The Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank came in third place with a business volume of EGP 89.5bn and a share of 20.9%, then Al-Baraka Bank Egypt came in fourth with a turnover of EGP 82.3bn and a share of 19.2%.
The volume of Islamic deposits amounted to about EGP 350.4bn during 2021, representing about 7% of the total volume of deposits in the Egyptian banking market, with an increase of EGP 43.2bn and a growth rate of 14.1% compared to 2020. About 95% of this increase was in the Faisal Bank by EGP 13bn, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank by EGP 13bn, the Islamic branches of Banque Misr by EGP 9bn, and Al-Baraka Bank by EGP 6bn.
Furthermore, the volume of financing compatible with Islamic Sharia amounted to about EPG 328bn in 2021, representing about 5.4% of the total volume of financing in the Egyptian banking market — an increase of EGP 35.7bn and a growth rate of 12.2% compared to 2020.
According to the report, the number of Islamic branches in the Egyptian market is about 248, representing about 5.6% of the total number of branches in the market as a whole and serving more than 3.2 million customers.