UAE's Minister Calls for Establishing Supreme Islamic Bank
UAE's Finance Minister Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash has called for establishing a supreme bank among Islamic banks, reported the Gulf News.
His remarks came during a conference on "Future Trends in Islamic Banking" held in Abu Dhabi.
The minister also urged a revival of the plan to form a Supreme Shariah Supervision Committee to unify operations worldwide.
"Islamic banking has gained considerable momentum: from a mere 34 banks and financial institutions following Shariah law in 1983, the number has grown to 250 by 2000, together accounting for $200 billion," he said.
He pointed out that the UAE has been among the pioneers in this sector, with Dubai Islamic Bank having been established as early as in 1975, and with the country being one of the first to issue a law governing operations therein, the paper quoted him as saying.
While stressing that Islamic banking is an essential tool in profitably employing deposits to drive a country's economic growth, he warned that such institutions must seize the potential represented by the Internet and e-commerce, or they risked being left behind in the coming era of globalization.
"The merger in Bahrain between Faisal Islamic Bank and Islamic Gulf Investment Co. sets an example to the way ahead," he stated, while pointing out that mergers not only establish bigger institutions with more financial muscle that can better face international competition, but also serve to cut operational costs while helping upgrade services - Albawaba.com
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