Saturday, April 11, 2009

Islamic Finance slowing down

John Irish of Reuters writes that Islamic Finance worldwide is not doing well, as a result of the general economic crisis. Here the whole story, and here an intro:

Islamic finance is slowing as the global financial crisis hits its hubs in Malaysia and the Gulf, but the sector now has a chance to move on to Western economies seeking to boost their financial centers. Regulatory differences still plague efforts to build cross-border Islamic banking, and harmonization among different schools of thought is one of the nascent industry's main obstacles as it looks to grow in European countries with large Muslim communities.

"There is a need for petrodollars in the West so more countries will be pandering to the rhetoric of Islamic finance to try to recycle petrodollars to their own financial capitals, be that London, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur," said Mahmoud al-Gamal, chair of Islamic Economics at Rice University.

In a sign that cultural barriers may be coming down, some experts see sovereign wealth funds injecting cash into global financial centers with the aim of advocating Islamic finance.

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