Private Gulf investors to launch first Islamic bank in Eurozone in 2014
According to the report, the investors are planning to call the new financial institution Eurisbank and will establish the bank's headquarters in Luxembourg during the last quarter of 2014.
The bank will allegedly open operations with 60 million euros ($80 million) as initial capital, and will offer retail, corporate and private banking services. Additional branches in Paris, Brussels, the Netherlands, and Frankfurt are further planned after the launch of the Luxembourg headquarters.
Eurisbank will be own by the aforementioned UAE royal family as well as by a GCC bank and related private investors, according to Ammar Dabbour, managing partner at Excellencia Investment Management, a Luxembourg-based Islamic fund.
The establishers are planning to apply for the bank's license in January and hope to obtain regulatory approvals by April.
Since the global financial meltdown, European governments and investors have been more keen to develop Islamic finance within the Eurozone as a way to attract wealthy investors from the Gulf and southeast Asia, as well as avoid monetary speculation practices. Islamic finance bans the latter as well as interest payments in its operations.
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