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Germany to have Islamic banking

23March2Germany will have the first fully operational Islamic bank this summer. According to media reports, the country’s regulator Bafin is to grant a full banking license to the Turkish bank, Kuveyt Turk Bank. The first branch of the bank is expected to be up and running in June, with branches planned for Frankfurt, Cologne and Berlin. The bank also plans to expand its services throughout Europe. The bank’s guidelines will conform to sharia law. This means that it will not involve itself in speculative ventures or investments and it cannot charge interest on loans, based on the Islamic teaching that a Muslim may not benefit from lending money or receiving money from someone else. Islamic banks may still purchase assets and resell them for a profit, however. According to Kemal Ozan, the managing director of Kuveyt Turk, the banks hopes to be popular with Germany’s four million Muslims – the largest Muslim community in Europe. Britain remains Europe’s main Islamic finance hub, with five fully-fledged Islamic banks, and 20 banks that offers Islamic banking services.

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