Morocco lures Sharia cash with first Islamic bank

Morocco is poised to have its first full-fledged Islamic bank as early as September. Dar Assafaa, an affiliate of the country’s largest lender AttijariWafa Bank, will probably become the nation’s first wholly Sharia-compliant financial institution when the central bank approves its switch. The country’s Islamic finance bill, which came into force on January 30, also allows for the formation of a centralised Sharia board to oversee Islamic banks. The Moroccan Association of Participative Financiers estimates total investment in Sharia-compliant products in the country will reach $7 billion by 2018.