Standard Chartered looks to Africa, Brunei for Islamic growth

Standard Chartered's Islamic division is seeking banking licences in three African countries in order to offer its services to the population. According to the bank's head of Islamic banking, Mohammad Ali Allawalla, Standard Chartered Saadiq could enter at least one of three markets, Nigeria, Botswana and Zambia, as early as 2017. The bank is also in discussions about gaining an Islamic banking licence in Brunei in South East Asia. Standard Chartered Saadiq's core markets are Pakistan, Malaysia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Bangladesh and in 2014 it entered the Kenyan market, its first move into Africa.

FNB targets Islamic banking on continent

First National Bank (FNB) is looking to expand its Islamic banking offering to Zambia and Tanzania before the end of its financial year in June next year. FNB, which has been on an expansion phase in select countries in the rest of Africa, is looking to use the Islamic banking offering to capture clients, especially in those countries that have big Muslim communities. Amman Muhammad, the CEO of FNB Islamic Banking, said that in sub-Saharan Africa there were about 280-million Muslim people and the FirstRand group had a presence in countries that had about 200-million Muslims. The bank already offers Islamic banking in Botswana.

BoZ still working on Islamic finance

The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) says it is working out modalities to roll out Islamic banking in the country after the central bank launched Islamic finance guidelines in 2013 to ensure strict adherence and compliance with the rules and principles of Sharia. BoZ governor Denny Kalyalya said the central bank is still doing some work on the Islamic banking. He noted that Islamic finance is a new way of doing business and a lot more needs to be done.
The BoZ has embarked on a process of developing a regulatory framework to facilitate the introduction of Islamic finance. The framework was reviewed by the Islamic Financial Services Board, which is the standard setting body in matters of Islamic finance.

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