The political party of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has the biggest bloc in parliament, is proposing changes to the banking law with the goal of boosting the market share of Islamic banks to 35 percent in five years from 5 percent now, a party member said.
Ahmed al-Najjar, a member of the Freedom and Justice Party’s economic committee, told Reuters that the proposals envisaged a new Islamic banking section being added to the law, which now has no specific regulations covering Islamic banks.
Draft amendments to the law have been presented to parliament but no date has been set to discuss them, he said.
Bankers say last year’s revolt which toppled President Hosni Mubarak, whose regime neglected or discouraged Islamic finance for ideological reasons, has cleared the way for growth of Islamic finance in the Arab world’s most populous nation.
They say the business needs a regulatory framework before it can grow but that the nation of 82 million people, who are overwhelmingly Muslim, offers an attractive market. Islamic finance obeys religious principles such as bans on the payment of interest and pure monetary speculation.
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