Russia’s Mezhkombank is proposing to set up an Islamic bank – the first of its kind to serve Russia’s millions of Muslims and draw Arab investment to development projects in Russia.

‘There are favourable conditions for the implementation of the project aimed at setting up a joint bank with our Arab partners,’ the head of Mezhkombank’s board of directors, Sergei Ovsyannikov, told Russia’s ItarTass news agency during an economic conference in Bahrain.

The Bahrain branch of Mezhkombank and Russian regions with a predominantly Muslim population, including Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, will take part in the project from the Russian side, Ovsyannikov said. It was not clear which institutions might be involved on the Arab side, nor what the size of the proposed bank might eventually be.