Sunday, September 24, 2006

Islamic finance is riding high

Islamic Finance is based on interpretations from the Qur'an. Its two central tenets are no interest can be earned on loans and socially responsible investing.

In the Western financial tradition there are many investors who invest in "socially responsible" means, but the socially responsible concept of investing is not as wide spread as it is within the Islamic tradition.

Islamic finance is rapidly prospering around the world owing to an influx of oil money from the Middle East and increasing demand by investors, both Muslim and non-Muslim.

The Islamic finance sector, compatible with Sharia law based on the Koran, is now worth between US$300 and US$500 billion (237 and 394 billion euros), economists estimate, compared with US$200 billion two years ago.

Islamic retail banks and investment funds now increasing and financial institutions in non-Muslim countries, including Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and UBS, are choosing to offer products that are compatible with Sharia law.

Here is BBC's Q&A about islamic finance, for a better understanding.

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