Libya aiming to issue three Islamic bank licences in 2014

Libya is hoping to have three new Islamic banks up and running in the nation next year.

Libya aiming to issue three Islamic bank licences in 2014

Libya aiming to issue three Islamic bank licences in 2014

A senior central bank official told Reuters that new licences are expected to be handed out in the early part of 2014 in a bid to meet the increasing demand for sharia-compliant financial services.

Under the previous political regime in the nation, the growth of Islamic banking was not encouraged and the state-controlled financial institutions dominated the sector.

Rules and regulations have already been passed to cover Islamic finance in Libya and the country is attempting to use them to build a modern financial infrastructure.

Abdulmajeed Almaguri, deputy director of the central bank’s banking supervision department, told the news provider that three Islamic banking licences will be issued and the central bank has received five applications from local investors.

The evaluation of the investors is currently ongoing and is expected to be completed in the next five months.

By Gary Cooper

Libya at Islamic finance summit in London

By Hadi Fornaji.

London is pitching itself to play a prominent role in Libya’s Sharia-compliant banking, which comes into force at the new year.

Libya at Islamic finance summit in LondonThe British are the first non-Muslim country to host the World Islamic Economic Forum, which opened today and is being attended by delegates from 115 countries, including Libya.

Noting the 2012 passage of the Islamic banking law, Hugh Robertson, a foreign office minister said that even before that legislation, Islamic banks had been taking an interest in Libya.

“As the Libyan economy develops post-revolution, Islamic finance will become increasingly prevalent and Islamic-compatible products are set to feature strongly in the Libya’s future economy,” said Robertson.

He continued: “The UK sees significant potential in Libya’s private sector. Despite ongoing political and security challenges, there are many opportunities for business in Libya, especially for financial institutions. Given London’s role as the Islamic finance capital in Europe, the UK wants to be a key player in this development”.

Robertson spoke of the $1.85 trillion Islamic global finance industry and its 15 percent annual growth. Explaining this strong expansion, he said: “Some people want investments that are managed in accordance with their faith. Others are, in the wake of the financial crisis, drawn by principles of balance, shared risk, fairness and transparency, while others still are attracted by the sheer potential of the industry …. Whatever the draw, the buzz around Islamic and ethical finance continues to grow louder and stronger”.