Kenya 'keen' to introduce Sharia-compliant services

Mar 31, 2011

The Central Bank of Kenya is keen to introduce Sharia-compliant treasury bills and bonds, it has been reported.

According to the Nairobi Star, the institution has "expressed optimism" that the legal framework will soon be completed.

Gulf African Bank, which recently announced 2010 pre-tax profits of SH73 million (€619,285) and is currently one of two banks offering exclusive Sharia-compliant services, has already registered an interest.

It stated that if the regulations are introduced, it is willing to invest between SH3 billion and SH4 billion every year.

Central Bank Governor Njuguna Ndung'u said the organisation is eager to take advantage of the $1.6 trillion Gulf region market, as much of the money from this area is currently being invested in Asia.

However, he added that Kenya will need to introduce investment vehicles such as insurance products, corporate bonds and unit trusts if it is to embrace Islamic finance fully.