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Middle Eastern Banks Apply to Offer Islamic Financial Services in Uganda

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Posted February 12, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Business ~ 1,680 views

     


By Suryani Omar | Uganda has received applications from three Islamic banks in the Middle East to offer Shariah- compliant financial services in the country.

“The Middle East investors can start operations either by acquiring a local bank or setting up a new Islamic bank in the country,” Grace Stuart Ndyareeba, deputy director of commercial banking at Bank of Uganda, said in an interview in Jakarta today, declining to name the banks.

The African nation is changing its banking rules to allow lenders to operate under Islamic law and representatives from its central bank are in Jakarta to learn from Indonesia’s experience. Southeast Asia’s largest economy, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, passed a law in 2008 to allow banks to offer services that comply with Islam’s ban on interest.

Uganda hopes to pass amendments enabling Islamic finance by early 2012, Titus Mulindwa, deputy legal counsel at Bank of Uganda told reporters in Jakarta today.

“We’ve been studying amendments to the current banking rules to allow Islamic banks to own assets and are looking at refining tax laws for Islamic banks to operate,” Mulindwa said.

Around 12 percent of Uganda’s 33 million people are Muslims, according to the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook.

“The interest in Islamic financial services is driven by the people,” Ndyareeba said. “As the central bank, we’re facilitating their needs.”

-With assistance from Novrida Manurung in Jakarta. Editors: Andrew Janes, Greg Ahlstrand

To contact the reporter on this story: Suryani Omar in Jakarta at somar6@bloomberg.net


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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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