Assets of Bahrain-based Islamic banks rise to $2.2 billion
Assets of Bahrain-based Islamic banks topped $2.2 billion in the first 10 months of the year, up from $1.7 billion in the same period in 2000, the Bahrain Monetary Agency, or central bank, said on Wednesday, December 12.
"Assets of Islamic banks rose from $1.752 billion between January and end-October 2000 to $2.245 billion during the same period in 2001," the bank said in its monthly report. Foreign assets shot up to $1.12 billion in the January to October period from $775 million last year, while local assets rose to $1.125 billion from $976 million, the bank said, without giving reasons for the increase.
The chairman of the Bahrain-based General Council of Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (IBFI), Saleh Kamel, said last month that deposits in Islamic banks based in the Gulf island state had risen since the September 11 attacks on the United States. He was speaking on the sidelines of an international conference of Islamic banks in Manama during which Bahrain's crown prince defended Islamic banks, some of which have been accused by Washington of funding terrorism.
"We remain committed to Islamic banks and financial institutions, and this commitment will become even stronger now because we want to show the real face of Islam, which has nothing to do with the terrorism practiced by a small group," Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa told reporters on November 10. "These banks are above suspicion and have provided useful services to their communities," said Sheikh Salman, whose country is the banking hub of the oil-rich Gulf region.
The governor of the Bahrain Monetary Agency, Sheikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Al-Khalifa, told the conference that over 200 Islamic banks and financial institutions were now operating in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.— (AFP, Manama )
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)