Friday, November 2, 2007

Credit Suisse to expand Islamic banking products

by Shakir Husain from Gulf News

"I have not witnessed a banking activity that has shown such sustained growth for two decades," said Fares Murad, global head of Credit Suisse Islamic investments. "There are many socio-political factors that are driving this growth. To say that Islamic finance is growing because of petro-dollars is simplistic." He even sees the possibility of the Islamic banking sector overtaking conventional banks in terms of assets in the region in the coming years ... Industry sources estimate the Islamic finance sector to be around $400 billion globally. Half of the assets are located in the Gulf, 25% in Southeast Asia and the rest distributed in other parts of the world. Murad said his bank is responding to demands from clients for Sharia-compliant products that would exclude investment in interest-based assets or in businesses that produce or deal in alcohol, pork, gambling, weapons and entertainment.

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