Faizal Salieh

Islamic banking assets to reach $ 1.5 billion

According to the CEO of Amana Bank, Faizal Salieh, it is expected for the current $ 250 million of banking assets to rise to $ 1.5 billion in the coming years. About 8% of the country's population of 21.5 million people are Muslims. The strong demand for Islamic financial products comes not only from the Muslim population but from non-Muslims as well. Still at a preliminary stage, the local Islamic finance is nevertheless developing. The expected rapid growth of the local Islamic finance is attributed to the increased awareness of faith based concepts and the internalization of the financial markets.

Amana Investments: The torchbearer of Islamic banking in Sri Lanka

Amana Investments Ltd. has been the torchbearer of Islamic banking in Sri Lanka for almost the last two decades. In that time the parent company also established a Takaful (Islamic insurance) subsidiary, Amana Takaful, in a joint venture with Syarikat Takaful Malaysia and Amana Capital. At the helm at Amana are Chairman Osman Kassim and Managing Director and CEO Faizal Salieh, arguably the two most seasoned Islamic bankers in the country.
Last month, President and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka granted a full commercial banking license to Amana Investments Ltd. to set up Amana Bank, which is scheduled to start full operations later this year. The bank is headquartered in Colombo and has 13 branches in the west and east of the country as well as one in the south, in Galle, that are being converted into fully fledged branches of Amana Bank.

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