QIIB partners with CIH Bank to set up Islamic bank in Morocco
QIIB will take a 40 per cent stake in the new bank.Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) announced it has signed an agreement with Moroccan lender Crédit Immobilier et Hôtelier (CIH Bank) to set up an Islamic bank in Morocco.
QIIB will take a 40 per cent stake in the new bank, which is expected to launch in 2016, pending regulatory approvals.
"The agreement is in the framework of QIIB’s strategy, which focuses on pursuing overseas opportunities to enhance the financial position of the bank and diversify its portfolio investments so as to benefit its shareholders", the Qatari institution said in a press release.
It noted that Morocco has a "strong and diversified economy" and is a "valuable market that provides unique opportunities for the bank".
QIIB said it will put all of its expertise at the disposal of the new bank to ensure its development, growth, and success, as well as that of the Moroccan economy.
The launch was made possible by the adoption in 2014 by the Moroccan parliament of a draft law regulating Islamic finance in the country.
The state now allows Islamic finance institutions to be fully established in Morocco, provided they are subsidiaries of domestic or foreign banks.
The potential for Islamic finance is important in Morocco, with over 98 per cent of the population declaring themselves Muslims.
Islamic finance could represent - within three to five years - between ten and 20 per cent of Morocco's banking system, according to Standard & Poor's economic analyst Mohamed Damak.