Islamic Banking

UK's First Islamic Investment Bank Looks to Bahrain, Private Clients

Paul Das, 20 March 2006

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European Islamic Investment Bank is to open for business in Bahrain in the second quarter of this year after it has obtained the necessary a...

European Islamic Investment Bank is to open for business in Bahrain in the second quarter of this year after it has obtained the necessary authorisation from the Bahrain Monetary Agency.

The move comes hot on the heals of the EIIB being authorised as the first Islamic investment bank by the UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority. The bank will open for business in the UK at the beginning of April.

The London-based, independent, shariah compliant investment bank will offer a broad range of investment banking activities, starting with Islamic treasury and then moving on to asset management and private banking, amongst other activities.

“We in the Gulf are very familiar with the rapid rise and diversification in Islamic banking and finance, but there is also a specific opportunity to grow this type of investment in Europe. Non-Islamic issuers and investors want to engage with Islamic finance, it is becoming part of the mainstream, and EIIB will help bridge the gap between Europe and the Gulf.

“Internationally there is a great deal of interest in ethical investing, of which Islamic finance is seen as a part,” said managing director John Weguelin.

“Given our niche role as an investment bank, we see many Islamic financial institutions in the Gulf and elsewhere as potential partners or clients, rather than competitors,” he said.

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