While Islamic banking products represented only 5% of banking assets in Tunisia by the end of 2015, they have significant growth potential, with an annual average growth rate of 23% from 2010 to 2015.
According to the Annual Report on Banking Supervision 2015, which has just been published by the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT), total deposits in these banks amounted to 2,501 MTD at the end of December 2015, while total appropriations stood at 1,930 MTD at the end of 2015.
In addition, the total assets of the Islamic banks, with a workforce of 1,213 people and a network of 107 branches, amounted to 4,038 MTD in 2015.
Governor of the BCT, Chedly Ayari, had recently announced that the Central Bank is studying a request for the creation of a new Islamic bank, on the initiative of a Tunisian resident abroad, in partnership with foreign investors.
Islamic finance, available in Tunisia since the 1970s, has been strengthened by the adoption of a new law organizing this financing mode (Law No. 48 of July 11, 2016).
The BCT is currently working on two circulars complementing Law No. 48. The first will define the operations of Islamic finance (Murabaha, Istisnaa and Musharaka), and will be promulgated before the end of the current year, while the second one presenting the conditions for the exercise of this finance, through the Islamic windows in conventional banks will be promulgated during the first half of 2017.
There are 500 Islamic banks around the world. The IF market represents about $ 2 trillion, with annual growth varying between 16 and 20%. The Gulf countries account for 40% of all these transactions.