Still springtime in North Africa? [Banker Middle East]

North Africa is moving towards the development of the Islamic financial industry as a response to the protests in several countries of the Arab world. Although there are some difficulties to overcome like low banking penetration and limited development of retail banking in general, there ist still potential for growth and progress. However, until a more stable political environment is provided, Shari'ah-compliant banking will be a niche market in North Africa.

Strong demand drives growth at Islamic Bank of Britain

Islamic Bank of Britain plc (IBB) registered an increase of 63% in home financing and a 43% up in long-term savings deposits for this year's first three quarters. The launch and development of new savings products have played the main role for the development of the growth and demand. Examples are the IBB Home Purchase Plan and Buy to Let Purchase Plans which were strongly supported by effective sales and marketing strategies.

Adopting a more local investment outlook [Banker Middle East]

GCC became the leader of global sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) as the value of their 13 managed funds reached $1.8 trillion. They follow the strategy of diversification across a wide range of industries and asset classes. Although the global financial crisis has slowed down the pace of GCC SWF investments, GCC countries are still on the course of investing outside the region and thus play an important role in the global investment landscape.

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