KPMG has appointed an Islamic finance leadership team to be led by Samer Hijazi, director of KPMG, from the London office.

The team will include Muhammad Tariq, partner, in the UAE and Oman, Mahesh Balasubramanian, partner, in Bahrain, Kashif Jahangiri, director, in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Ahmad Nasri Abdul Wahab, partner, in Malaysia, Ahmed Jaffer, director, in South Africa and Omar Mahmood, manager, in Qatar.

Jeremy Anderson, global head of financial services at KPMG, comments: “Islamic finance and its principles of fair dealing are becoming more and more globalised. This leadership team will leverage KPMG’s insights and expertise in Islamic finance to give our clients access to an outstanding depth and breadth of knowledge wherever in the world they need it.”

While the team will focus on all Islamic finance products, trade-related products are to be a key component, a KPMG spokesperson explains to GTR: “International trade is expected to be a significant driver of growth in the Muslim world and Islamic financial institutions will naturally be well-placed to play a major role in this. After all, Islamic finance favours, if anything, trade in underlying tangible assets.”

This growth is going to be seen not only in traditional Muslim markets but in non-traditional ones, she adds: “KPMG does expect to see growth in Islamic finance in emerging non-Muslim markets such as parts of Africa and Central Asia.”

The new leadership has been partly-spurred, Samer Hijazi says, by Britain’s recent announcement that it intends to be the first non-Islamic sovereign state to issue an Islamic bond (a sukuk). This is encouraging a lot of mainstream financial institutions to look at entering the market.