Azerbaijan's biggest bank closes Islamic banking department

The International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), the country's largest and the only state-owned bank, has closed its Islamic banking department. Behnam Gurbanzade, IBA's director of Islamic banking, said the department was closed last week, but did not give the reasons. The department started the service in April 2013. The decision was reportedly linked to structural changes in the bank.The bank's Islamic assets rose to $526 million at the end of 2014 from $160 million a year earlier. "The agreements signed with international financial institutions within the framework of Islamic banking, as well as the bank's liabilities in this area will remain in force.