Islamic banking in CIS: Kazakhstan’s Zaman Bank has appointed the Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) to help roll out its portfolio of Shariah-compliant financial products and services across the countries of the CIS, it announced last week.
Zaman has been offering a limited range of such services for several years, and its new Islamic Finance Development unit will now work with the SRB to increase both their range and geographical footprint among other former member states of the old Soviet Union.On the retail sicde it plans to offer Sharia compliant auto and home financing, SME finance, credit programs, deposits and the refinancing of conventional loans while it already helps its corporate clients comply with Islamic banking practices in relation to commercial debts, loans and pre-IPO screenings,
“We have received positive feedback from both the retail and corporate marketplace regarding Islamic financial products,” said Zaman Bank’s Deputy Chairman Diar N. Smagulov who is to head up the unit. “The constant growth of new financial trends is continuously changing the way the Islamic industry is functioning. And in today’s rapidly-changing markets, outsourcing Sharia Committee, Certification and Sharia Audit services to establishments like SRB is an essential solution for businesses.”
Licenced by the Central Bank of Bahrain and with offices in San Francisco and London as well as throughout the Gulf, the SRB provides professional Sharia Advisory and Sharia Audit services to public and private businesses in Hong Kong, the US, the UK, Canada, France, Switzerland.
A report published by Ernst & Young in January found that Islamic banking is now outgrowing conventional banking in many of the world’s predominantly Islamic countries. The total participant banking market is worth around $920bn, the report calculated , and is forecast to grow to more than $1.6trn by 2020
According to Turkey’s HaberVaktim website, Ubzkekistan would appear to be the most productive hunting ground for Zaman in its new quest.
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