Deals worth billions to be struck this year

An estimated £5.8bn worth of deals were struck at the eighth World Islamic Economic Forum, held last year in Malaysia. The biggest involved Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, who agreed to build a motorsports hub in Iskandar, Malaysia, for $1.4bn (£870m).
And with a record number of delegates set to attend this year’s event – around 2,500, compared to original estimates of 1,500 – expectations of a similarly deal-intensive Forum are widespread.

“One of the main areas of interest will be real estate,” says London and Partners’ director of international business development David Slater. “Investment in property suits shariah-compliant finance very well.”

But technology, education and healthcare may also be areas to watch. “These are particularly suitable for international collaboration,” Slater says. “Digital businesses can cross borders very easily, and we are seeing increasing cooperation between universities worldwide.” Slater points out that such sectors have strong British showings, and help to sell the capital as a global investment destination.