Standard applies for three Islamic Banking licenses
The group first established a presence in sub-Saharan Africa in 2014.Standard Chartered Saadiq, a subsidiary of British banking group Standard Chartered dedicated to Islamic finance, has applied for licenses in three African countries: Zambia, Nigeria and Botswana.
"Nigeria is an attractive market in terms of size but we are also exploring Botswana and Zambia, which are not major markets in terms of size but have great opportunities when it comes to pools of customers available," Mohammad Ali Allawalla, the Director of Retail Banking Business at Standard Chartered Saadiq, told Reuters.
The group first established a presence in sub-Saharan Africa in 2014, opening a branch in Kenya.
And the continent is ripe for Islamic finance, according to experts. Imran Mufti, Partner at Riyadh-based law firm Hogan Lovells, believes that Africa's development needs are greatly aligned with Islamic finance given the continent’s infrastructure deficit, paving the way for more sharia-compliant products on the continent, African Business reports.