Islamic banking looks to global outlet

Speaking on the sidelines of the 10th World Islamic Finance Conference currently taking place in Bahrain, the executive president of the Kingdom's Islamic Bank eyes an international Islamic bank.

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By  John Irish Published  December 8, 2003

International banking could soon take on an Islamic tinge, if Adnan Yousef, executive president of Bahrain's Islamic Bank, has his way.

Speaking to news agencies on the sidelines of the 10th World Islamic Conference currently taking place in Bahrain, Yousef claimed that a group of Islamic bankers was studying the possibility of creating an international Islamic bank with a capital of US $1.5 million.

"There is a growing feeling among the Islamic banking industry that it must move up to international standards since it has matured to an excellent level and proved itself in several domains," said Yousef.

He cited banks, Islamic investment organisations and leasing companies as prime examples of institutions that were ready for the step up, adding that the general reaction surrounding the idea was very encouraging.

Although no decision has been taken just yet, meetings between influential bankers within the Islamic finance community did take place last October with a final decision expected in 2004.

Yousef added that at this stage Bahrain is the most likely base for the new bank due to the Kingdom's internationally recognised position as an Islamic finance hub.

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