Emirates Islamic in expansion mode

10 February 2006

Emirates Islamic Bank, the retail subsidiary of Emirates Bank, expects to launch its brokerage business in March. The brokerage will trade in sharia-compliant equities on the Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi Securities Market. The bank also plans to double its branch network in the UAE to 22 and to target the small business sector by offering import, equipment and goods finance. 'It's a big, under-served segment,' says retail banking general manager Faisal Aqil of the thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in Dubai.

The bank has recently introduced home finance products including ijara, murabaha, musharaka-ijara and istisna'a, to become the third Islamic mortgage provider in the UAE after Amlak Finance and Tamweel. 'It will be our core business,' says Aqil. The bank is due to sign memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Nakheel, Dubai Holding, Union Properties, in which Emirates Bank is a majority stakeholder, and Deyaar Development, a subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank. Emirates Islamic has already signed MoUs with local Emaar Properties and Bahrain's Al-Khaleej Development Company (Tameer).

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