Credit Suisse to launch new Shariah-compatible products

19 March 2007

Swiss bank Credit Suisse is to expand its Shariah-compatible range of banking products.

The move from Credit Suisse comes in the wake of increasing demand from Arab investors for opportunities that do not involve profiting from non-halal meat, alcohol and gambling and that do not entail accruing interest for the investor.

Analysts have valued the specialised finance sector at $400 billion worldwide and expect further growth in the next decade.

Fares Murad, head of Credit Suisse's Islamic investments wing, told Gulf News: "I have not witnessed a banking activity that has shown such sustained growth for two decades.

"There are many socio-political factors that are driving this growth. To say that Islamic finance is growing because of petro-dollars is simplistic," he added.

Earlier this month the launch of a Credit Suisse fund compliant with Shariah-law marked the first time the bank had entered the nascent market.

News of Credit Suisse's range of Shariah-compatible products comes after a ruling from the State Bank of Pakistan granted permission to Islamic banks to bring new products to market with similar features to those offered by commercial banks.

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