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Islamic Finance expert to lead DinarStandard’s role in convergence of $1.62 trillion global Halal economy

rushdiRushdi Siddiqui is joining DinarStandard (DS) as a senior partner and its global leader/ head of Islamic economy.

Siddiqui has been in the Islamic economy space for the past 15 years and was responsible for and the launch of the Dow Jones Islamic Index in 1998. In 2009 he took on the role of Global Head of Islamic Finance & OIC Countries for Thomson Reuters, where, he led a global team to establish the world’s first Islamic finance Gateway, Islamic Inter-bank benchmark rate (IIBR), and a Halal food index (SAMI). Most recently he co-founded and served as Managing Director of Azka Capital, a private equity advisory firm for the $1.62 trillion Halal Industry.

“Global brands such as Nestle, Carrefour, Marriot, Pfizer, as well as regional investment firms and thousands of SME’s grapple with serving this fast growing, global, and complex market. Rushdi’s unrivalled experience and expertise will drive DinarStandard’s market intelligence & strategy leadership in this space to serve these types of organisations,” said Rafi-uddin Shikoh, Managing Director & CEO of DinarStandard.

DinarStandard recently released the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report, in partnership with Thomson Reuters. The ground breaking report has measured and presented a forecast (for the first time ever), for the market potential of the fast growing global Halal food & lifestyle sectors, worth $1.62 trillion in consumer expenditure in 2012 and expected to be valued at $2.47 trillion by 2018.

The report has charted a clear road-map for companies within (or peripherally related to) the referenced industries, as well as countries at large to distil and leverage the quantified opportunities that exist within each of these sectors both individually, as well as in their connectivity.

The lack of convergence between the related Halal food and lifestyle sectors and Islamic finance sector has led Siddiqui to refer to the two segments as “twins separated at birth.”

“Today, there is very little connectivity between Islamic finance and Halal food – the two big segments of the Islamic economy. The Islamic economy needs a global, ‘go-to’ five-star quality consulting firm, and DS has provided the likes of McKinsey with quality work for western companies, country tourism boards, OIC governments, private equity firms, SMEs, and non-profits.  In today’s fast moving and complex financial environment, the market values timely deliverables, with ground breaking and innovative ‘think work’,” said Siddiqui.

Dubai is determined to establish itself as the capital of the global Islamic economy. Sheikh Ahmad bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his role as Chairman of Noor Bank said recently that, “Islamic finance is the fuel to propel our nation towards even greater accomplishments.”

“Dubai certainly has the credentials to fulfil its ambitions,” said Siddiqui.

According to DinarStandard analysis, while the broader food and agriculture segment within OIC countries has seen 340 completed investment transactions (between 2011-2013) with total disclosed value of transactions at $14.9 billion, only 17 completed transactions relating to Halal food companies were reported world-wide with the seven disclosed deal amounts adding to $22 million only.

Source: CPI Financial

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