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Islamic banking to 'flourish' in UK
The UK's budget will include measures to encourage the financing of Islamic bonds.
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2007 19:27 GMT
The budget will include measures encouraging Islamic financal products [AP]

The British government has outlined measures to secure the country's position as a major hub of global Islamic finance.
 
Ed Balls, the treasury economic secretary, said the 2007-2008 budget, which is due in March, would include measures designed to encourage the financing of Islamic bonds.
Speaking at a conference on Islamic finance, he said: "The objective of all our work is to enable the market to develop and flourish ... to help the Islamic finance industry go from strength to strength [and] to cement London as one of the global centres for Islamic finance."

Shariah "compliance"

 

He said guidance would also be given on how other Islamic financial products would be dealt with for tax purposes.

 

Islamic financial products are designed to be compatible with shariah law, which prohibits the collection or payment of interest and investment in areas prohibited in Islam, such as gambling and alcohol.

 

The global Islamic finance sector is estimated to be worth between $300 and $500bn.

 

There are now hundreds of Islamic retail banks and investment funds and Western financial institutions are increasingly offering products which claim to be shariah compliant.

Source:
Agencies
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