Prasad Abraham

Kazakhstan's Al Hilal Islamic Bank eyes regional footprint

Kazakhstan's Al Hilal Islamic Bank may expand into neighbouring countries as legislative efforts to develop Islamic finance gather pace across the region. Legislation is being redrawn in Kazakhstan, after the first set of Islamic finance rules in 2009 failed to spur much activity. Almaty-based Al Hilal, whose parent is wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi government, is considering increasing its geographical presence as part of its 2015 business plan, chief executive Prasad Abraham said. A draft amendment, currently awaiting discussion in Kazakhstan's parliament, would provide the bank with a clearer framework that could translate into better commercial opportunities, Abraham said.

IDB eyes investment in Kazakh, Central Asia energy, farming

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) plans to set up first Islamic company in Kazakhstan in 2013. The object of business shall be: renewable energy and agricultural projects. The reason for that is the lack of agricultural resources in Gulf countries. On the contrary, countries in Central Asia and Africa have the resources but not the capital, which is why IDB considers opportunities for Islamic banking in Kazakhstan, which has a resource-driven economy that is the largest in Central Asia.

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