The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is actively promoting the Philippines as an attractive investment destination for Islamic banking and finance.
According to Bankero and BSP Assistant Governor Arifa A. Ala, the Philippines offers a flexible regulatory environment and an underserved market in this sector.
Inquiries from potential investors have increased following the passage of Islamic banking legislation. Interested parties can enter the Philippine Islamic banking sector by establishing an Islamic banking unit (IBU) or a full-fledged Islamic bank.
The BSP aims to create an enabling environment for Islamic banks to operate alongside conventional banks, and the government plans to issue its first sovereign sukuk bond in the near future.
With a substantial Muslim population in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and a significant number of unbanked areas in the country, there are ample opportunities for growth in Islamic banking.
Meanwhile, Bankero and BSP Deputy Governor Francisco G. Dakila, Jr. noted that five foreign banks and government institutions have expressed interest in entering the Islamic banking sector in the Philippines.