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Why do large firms go for Islamic loans?

  • Weill, Laurent



  • Godlewski, Christophe


This paper examines motivations for large firms to choose an Islamic loan over a conventional loan. This investigation helps understanding the causes of the expansion of Islamic finance activities. We employ a dataset of Islamic and conventional syndicated loans from countries from the Middle East and from Southeast Asia for the period 2001-2009, testing determinants for the choice of an Islamic loan at the facility, firm, and country level. We find that loan characteristics do not influence the choice of an Islamic loan, suggesting that borrowers asking for an Islamic loan are not rationed in terms of maturity and amount. The quality of the borrower does not lead to influence the choice of an Islamic loan, meaning that Islamic loans are not associated with a different default risk than conventional loans. We identify three country-level determinants as potential driving forces expanding the preference for Islamic loans. The strongest determinant is religiosity, i.e. the share of Muslim population in a country, but the quality of institutions and level of financial development also play substantial roles.

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Paper provided by Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition in its series BOFIT Discussion Papers with number 7/2012.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 13 Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:2012_007
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bank of Finland, BOFIT, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: + 358 10 831 2268
Fax: + 358 10 831 2294
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  1. Mariani Abdul-Majid & David Saal & Giuliana Battisti, 2010. "Efficiency in Islamic and conventional banking: an international comparison," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 25-43, August.
  2. Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine & Norman Loayza, 1999. "Financial Intermediation and Growth: Causality and Causes," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 56, Central Bank of Chile.
  3. Christophe Godlewski & Laurent Weill, 2008. "Syndicated loans in emerging markets," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/14182, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Gokcekus, Omer, 2008. "Is it protestant tradition or current protestant population that affects corruption?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 59-62, April.
  5. Martin Čihák & Heiko Hesse, 2010. "Islamic Banks and Financial Stability: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 95-113, December.
  6. Shawn Cole & Thomas Sampson & Bilal Zia, 2011. "Prices or Knowledge? What Drives Demand for Financial Services in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(6), pages 1933-1967, December.
  7. Simeon Djankov & Caralee McLiesh & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "Private Credit in 129 Countries," NBER Working Papers 11078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Godlewski, Christophe J. & Turk-Ariss, Rima & Weill, Laurent, 2011. "Do markets perceive sukuk and conventional bonds as different financing instruments?," BOFIT Discussion Papers 6/2011, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  9. Baele, Lieven & Farooq, Moazzam & Ongena, Steven, 2011. "Of Religion and Redemption: Evidence from Default on Islamic Loans," CEPR Discussion Papers 8504, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Kee-Hong Bae & Vidhan K. Goyal, 2009. "Creditor Rights, Enforcement, and Bank Loans," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(2), pages 823-860, 04.
  11. Samir Srairi, 2010. "Cost and profit efficiency of conventional and Islamic banks in GCC countries," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 45-62, August.
  12. Beck, Thorsten & Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Merrouche, Ouarda, 2013. "Islamic vs. conventional banking: Business model, efficiency and stability," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 433-447.
  13. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-162, January.
  14. Laurent Weill, 2011. "Do Islamic Banks Have Greater Market Power?," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(2), pages 291-306, June.
  15. Weill, Laurent & Godlewski, Christophe, 2012. "Why do large firms go for Islamic loans?," BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2012, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
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