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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Islamic Banks are Growing

From Jakarta to Jeddah, 265 Islamic banks and other financial institutions are now operating in some 40 countries, with total assets that top $262 billion, according to organizers of the International Islamic Finance Forum, a semi-annual industry conference. That pot of money, the investment of which adheres to the Koran's prohibition against receiving or paying interest, has been steadily building since 1994, when Malaysia created the world's first Islamic interbank money market. Now Islamic banking has broadened its appeal well beyond the confines of faithful Muslims. Indeed, nearly one-quarter of all Islamic banking business in Malaysia is being transacted by non-Muslims.Islamic finance was long the preserve of specialty banks that handled shariah-compliant products exclusively, such as Malaysia's top-ranked Bank Islam and Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. But Western banks, no longer content to leave the market to Islamic lenders, are competing for a slice of the business. Two years ago, Citigroup (C ) began providing Islamic mortgages in Malaysia and has begun training staffers in Indonesia and Pakistan to offer them there. It also provides Islamic mortgages in Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates. HSBC operates Islamic banking services all over the Arab world, and they now make up about 10% of its business in Malaysia. UBS, the world's top player in wealth management, set up a stand-alone Islamic private bank last year in Dubai to cater to its wealthiest Middle Eastern clients. And no wonder. Assets held by Muslims, led by Gulf Arabs, in all banks -- Islamic and otherwise -- are estimated at $1.5 trillion and are growing 15% a year, in large part because of high oil prices.

The Rest @ Businessweek


Sanctioned Islamic Banks

AKIDA BANK PRIVATE LIMITED,
(formerly known as – f.k.a. AKIDA ISLAMIC BANK INTERNATIONAL LIMITED);
(f.k.a. IKSIR INTERNATIONAL BANK LIMITED);

Arthur D. Hanna & Company;
10 Deveaux Street, Nassau, Bahamas;
P.O. Box N-4877, Nassau, Bahamas.

AKIDA INVESTMENT CO. LTD.,
(a.k.a. AKIDA INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED);
(f.k.a. AKIDA BANK PRIVATE LIMITED);
BA TAQWA FOR COMMERCE AND REAL ESTATE COMPANY LIMITED,
Vaduz Lichtenstein;
(formerly c/o Asat Trust reg.)

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