Islamic Banking

Gulf Investors To Launch Islamic Bank In Eurozone

Sandra Kilhof, Reporter, London, 28 November 2013

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Private investors from Gulf countries plan to establish the first Islamic bank headquartered in the eurozone.

Private investors from Gulf countries, including a royal
family from the United Arab
Emirates, plan to establish the first
Islamic bank headquartered in the eurozone, according to the executive in
charge.

The firm, Eurisbank, will be launched in Luxembourg during the last quarter
of 2014, said Ammar Dabbour, managing partner at Excellencia Investment
Management in a statement.

Excellencia, an Islamic fund manager based in Luxembourg, has
been contracted with consultants Deloitte to handle procedures for establishing
Eurisbank. With initial capital of €60 million ($80 million), the firm will
offer retail, corporate and private banking services, and open branches in Paris, Brussels, the Netherlands and Frankfurt.

In addition to the royal family, Eurisbank will be owned by
a bank from a country in the Gulf Cooperation Council and other private
investors, said Dabbour, who declined to give further details.

The founders of the Sharia compliant bank plan to apply for a licence in
January and expect to obtain regulatory approvals by April, Dabbour added.

Earlier this year, a study by Ernst
& Young revealed that Islamic trade finance is set to become the preferred investment
choice in the next decade as companies
look for serious alternatives to traditional channels. Read more on that story, here.

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