02/18/2015, 00.00
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First Islamic bank in Russia could open in 2015

The headquarters would be in Tatarstan, but the feasibility is still under study. Two possibilities: either a bank or a new 'section' in a bank that already exists.

Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The first bank in Russia working according to the Islamic principles of finance could open later this year. According to reports from the portal Banki.ru, the first Islamic bank of the Federation would be born under the auspices of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Anatly Aksakov, president of the Association of Regional Banks of Russia, says Malaysia also wants to take part in the project.

The bank should be located in Tatarstan, a Muslim majority republic of the Russian Federation. Currently a feasibility study is being conducted, with Tatar government representatives.

There are two possibilities, as Aksakov explained: The direct creation of an Islamic bank or, opening up an "Islamic section" in an existing structure, a sort of special unit, which would work according to the principles of sharia and of Islamic banking.

Changes to Russian legislation would be needed to make this a reality the deputy explained.  Amendments are ready and they should discuss in the next two weeks.

Muslims count for between 7 and 10% of the population in the Federation; the second largest religious community after the Orthodox. Some regions, such as Tatarstan or the North Caucasus, are even a Muslim majority. (N/A.)


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