Quoted from Islamic Finance News. Available at: http://www.islamicfinancenews.com.
The fourth annual Islamic Finance news Poll results are in after a record-breaking 2,491 unique votes were cast by the Islamic fi nance industry’s leading practitioners and participants. In the financial sphere 2008 was deemed by many as an annus horribilis with the global markets plummeting due mainly to the US mortgage industry. The Islamic fi nance industry also succumbed to market forces but by and large fared better than its conventional counterparts.
What is clear, from the results of the 2008 Islamic Finance news Poll, is that the more focused and specialized Islamic financial institutions are favored to those of the larger global historically conventional institutions with Islamic operations. With 2,491 votes cast, this is the industry’s most comprehensive and definitive survey. In the Best Overall Islamic Bank category Kuwait Finance House again ran out easy favorite for the second year running. Malaysia’s CIMB Islamic climbed one place to second this year with Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi taking third spot. One notable absentee from this category is two-time winner and runner up in 2007, Dubai Islamic Bank.
As more of the world’s fi nancial centers announce their interest in attracting Islamic fi nance to their shores one would assume the Best Central Bank in Promoting Islamic Finance category would be more competitive. Not so. For the fourth straight year Bank Negara Malaysia was voted number one with more than double the votes of its nearest rival, the State Bank of Pakistan, which itself leapfrogged the Central Bank of Bahrain into second place.
In new categories for the 2008 Poll, BMB Islamic won Best Islamic Shariah Advisory Firm and KFH Research was voted best Islamic Research Firm. In a year when many banks collapsed or merged, the Islamic fi nance industry witnessed a number of new arrivals ensuring a hotly contested Best New Islamic Bank category, with the UK’s Gatehouse Bank scraping victory over Maybank Islamic, which was a close second.
In other categories Norton Rose climbed from second in 2007 to fi rst in the Best Law Firm in Islamic Finance, Moody’s Investors Service was voted Best Islamic Rating Agency, Path Solutions won Best Islamic Technology Provider, Oasis Asset Management was named Best Islamic Fund Manager and Takaful Ikhlas the Best Takaful/reTakaful Provider for 2008. In the Best Islamic Banks by Country category there were notable wins for MCCA (Australia), Faisal Islamic Bank (Egypt), Bank of London and The Middle East (UK) and Bank Muamalat Indonesia.
A record 2,491 unique votes counted towards the fi nal results of the 2008 Islamic Finance news Poll, an increase of 66% over the votes cast in 2007. Thirty-six categories were contested in the 2008 poll, one more than the previous year. Islamic fi nance issuers, investors, non-banking fi nancial intermediaries and government bodies from around the world were invited to participate. Participants were requested to take only 2008 into consideration when casting their votes. All votes were screened and only those passing through the strict due diligence process were counted. (Voters could not vote for themselves or associated organizations, all votes were to be accompanied by a valid business email and telephone number and individuals could only vote once.)
Best Overall Islamic Bank
1st 2nd 3rd- Kuwait Finance House — 15% CIMB Islamic Bank — 8% Al Rajhi Bank — 6%
Best Central Bank in Promoting Islamic Finance
1st 2nd 3rd-Bank Negara Malaysia — 47% State Bank of Pakistan — 21% Central Bank of Bahrain — 19%
Best Islamic Bank by Country
Africa-ABSA, Australia- Muslim Community Co-operative (Australia), Bahrain-Bahrain Islamic Bank, Bangladesh-Islami Bank Bangladesh, Brunei -Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, Egypt -aisal Islamic Bank, Europe- Bank of London and The Middle East, Indonesia- Bank Muamalat Indonesia, Iran-Bank Melli, Jordan- Jordan Islamic Bank, Kuwait-Kuwait Finance House, Malaysia-CIMB Islamic, North America-American Finance House — LARIBA, Pakistan- Meezan Bank, Qatar- Qatar Islamic Bank, Saudi Arabia- Al Rajhi Bank, Singapore-The Islamic Bank of Asia, Turkey-Albaraka Türk, UAE- Dubai Islamic Bank,
Best Islamic Retail- Bank Al Rajhi Bank
Best Islamic Private Bank-HSBC Amanah
Most Innovative Islamic Bank- Kuwait Finance House
Best New Islamic Bank- Gatehouse Bank
Best Islamic Consultancy -Ernst & Young
Best Islamic Wealth Management Provider- Dubai Islamic Bank
Best Islamic Shariah Advisory Firm -BMB Islamic
Best Islamic Research Company -KFH Research Ltd
Best Islamic Index Provider- Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes
Best Law Firm in Islamic Finance -Norton Rose
Best Islamic Leasing Provider – First Leasing Bank
Best Islamic Ratings Agency- Moody’s Investors Service
Best Islamic Takaful/reTakaful Provider- Takaful Ikhlas
Best Islamic Fund Manager- Oasis Asset Management
Best Islamic Technology Provider -Path Solutions