Mauritius opens first Islamic bank

Apr 06, 2011

Mauritius' first Islamic bank opened its doors on Thursday 31st March, PANA news agency reports.

The Century Banking Corporation (CBC) was born from a partnership between Qataris investors and the British American Investment Group.

Hesham Shokry, the CBC's Chief Executive Officer, said during the opening that the bank wants to work in partnership with the Mauritius government to build the necessary infrastructure for Islamic finance and also to harmonise it with the laws and rules of the island.

"We will dedicate the first two or three years of the business to wholesale finance, treasury and wealth management", he explained.

The Islamic finance sector has grown exponentially over the last few years in Africa, as can be seen in Kenya, where two Islamic banks opened last year.

Banking assets within the sector increased by 8.9 per cent in 2010 and its total value is now estimated at $895 billion, according to figures released by Maris Strategies in the Financial Times.