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Friday, March 23, 2007

Islamic Mega Bank being built

The idea of an Islamic mega-bank has been going around for years, mostly as a sort of Middle Eastern fantasy that had very little in common with reality. People would talk wistfully about Islamic mega-banks like they would about world peace. It sounds like a good idea, revolutionary even, but in practice impossible.

Until recently that is. Then things began to happen across the wider financial spectrum. The price of oil more than doubled as war and surging Asian economies, notably those of China and India, created unprecedented demand and the countries that produced oil started seeing their budgets ballooning as the revenues kept coming in.

The GCC banks were a natural deposit for all this cash, especially in the aftermath of 11 September as many Middle Eastern investors started looking at other places to invest their oil wealth.

Banks started springing up around the Gulf and they, in turn, started investing this money for their clients in a wide range of ventures as the booming economies in turn created yet more demand for specialised banking products. People had fantastic amounts of money to invest and a small but growing number of Islamic banks started coming to the fore in the region.

the rest from Zawya

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