The global Islamic finance industry will see a new entrant in Russia. Moscow Industrial Bank has already started the process of getting acclimatized with the Islamic finance industry by learning from the established model of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Abubakar Arsamaskof, president of Moscow Industrial Bank, said that the bank has 7,000 employees working in 260 branches that provide different products and services. He added that their main focus is on industry, construction and agriculture. He also highlighted that they issue Muslim debt card to those wanting to perform Haj. He also indicated that Russian companies are moving towards the Halal industry in a big way and have investments that are estimated at $100 million. The Russian delegation was visiting the IDB to collaborate with regard to Awqaf and enhance the Islamic finance system in Russia. Other negotiations include collaboration between IDB and Moscow Industrial Bank to find investment opportunities and create jobs for youth.
Some of the major Islamic banks are now planning to drop the word “Islam” from their names. In January, Dubai-based Noor Islamic Bank changed its name to Noor Bank. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) plans to call itself Abu Dhabi International Bank when operating abroad. In both cases, the changes are part of the banks’ plans to expand. They aim to move well beyond a relatively small group of customers who stress religious permissibility, to a much larger customer base for whom pricing and service quality are key. This approach could help Islamic banks establish themselves globally and appeal to larger numbers of non-Muslims as well as Muslims.