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Islamic banking thrive in Lebanon

By Omar Al-Halabi (with photos) BEIRUT, Nov 24 (KUNA) -- Islamic banks are thriving in Lebanon after proving efficiency in facing the ramifications of the global financial crisis.
Banks that are based on Islamic teachings of Shareia, though newly established, they covered a wide-range of customers and were licensed by the Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL), Director General of the Islamic bank Al-Baraka Mutasim Mihmisani told KUNA.
The law concerned with Islamic banking was issued in 2004, he said, adding that BDL and Lebanese Ministry of Finance are "seriously" looking into amending some laws and regulations affiliated.
Islamic banks in Lebanon run about USD 200 million assets, with a growing customer base of 6,000, he noted.
Most of the investments adopted by these banks fell in real estate, he said, and added that these banks work with liquid money.
Up until now, five Islamic banks were licensed in Lebanon after meeting asset and administrative requirements, BDL's Governor, and noted that the bank supported issuing Islamic bank certificates along the Islamic banking movement.
BDL is also cooperating with time-honored international banking institutions to develop Islamic banking so to meet banking requirements, he said, adding that this step gained the blessing of the World Bank. (end) ah.aia KUNA 241223 Nov 09NNNN