DUBAI (Reuters) – Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) expects to get a license “within weeks” to set up a unit in Britain and wants to list shares in the operation in London, Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) reported.
QIB, Qatar’s biggest Islamic lender by market value, wants to use European Finance House to gain exposure to European markets and advise firms on Islamic financial products, MEED reported in its Friday edition, without giving a source.
The operation would get a license from Britain’s Financial Services Authority “within weeks”, MEED said.
“Eventually the aim is for the London-based bank to float on the London Stock Exchange,” MEED reported.
The bank has also held initial talks with the U.S. Federal Reserve about setting up operations there, the magazine added.
Islamic law, or sharia, bans lending on interest and investments in prohibited industries such as alcohol, gambling and pork. Islamic banks give depositors a share of profits.
With demand for such services growing among the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims, assets managed by Islamic financial institutions were worth $800 billion by the end of 2006, according to the Islamic Development Bank.