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Prospects bright for industry in Middle East

Prospects bright for industry in Middle East

While protestors are raging in several Middle Eastern capitals demanding political and economic reforms, regime changes and an end to corruption, there’s been speculation on the impact on Islamic finance.

March 21, 2011 2:11 by

But these efforts were outside Egypt for some of them were political exiles and others were simply marginalised because of the institutional resistance to anything to do with Islam or Islamic.

However, the challenge for the future democratic Egyptian government and its central bank would be to have a regulatory and legal framework in place to facilitate Islamic banking both for reasons of financial inclusion and as an alternative option to the interest-based market capitalist system which has failed Egypt for the last century or so.

In many respects, the same can be said of Tunisia which during the regime of ousted President Zeinal Abidine Ben Ali flirted with Islamic banking but had no coherent policy because of similar suspicions that it was a creation of Islamic radicals. Even before uprising in Tunisia, Best RE, the long-established Takaful (Islamic insurance) and retakaful entity, now owned by the Salama Group, has relocated its headquarters from Tunis to Labuan in Malaysia to take advantage of the political stability and generous tax incentives which the south east Asian country is offering for Islamic financial institutions.

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