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Focused: Pakistan targets Islamic finance growth in rural areas

Focused: Pakistan targets Islamic finance growth in rural areas

Pakistan, bidding to nearly double Islamic banking in the South Asian state by 2015, is focusing on poor, conservative villages to drive growth and has ordered Islamic lenders to open 20 percent of all new branches in rural areas.

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August 14, 2011 12:59 by



choice for banking.”

DIB Pakistan, which currently has 59 branches throughout the country, should have 80 branches by the end of the year, Mansoor said.

The prospects for growth is already attracting interest from both the conventional banks in Pakistan and foreign institutions, primarily out of the Gulf region.

Both Dubai Islamic Bank and Bahrain’s Al Baraka Bank have subsidiaries inPakistan and Standard Chartered Saadiq, the Islamic arm of UK-based Standard Chartered , also launched operations in the country.

“We currently have 100 branches in Pakistan and consider it to be a growth area for us,” said Adnan Ahmed Yousif, chief executive of Al Baraka Bank. “At our bank, we are looking to get to 200 branches over time. The country definitely has a lot of potential within Islamic finance.”

(Reporting by Shaheen Pasha and Sahar Ahmed)



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