spent on stupid fountains called “The Pearl” on man made Islands only the petro rich can afford


Qatar Islamic Bank Plans $100 Million Kazakh Start-Up (Update1)
By Matthew Brown and Will McSheehy

May 18 (Bloomberg) — Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, the Persian Gulf state’s biggest Shariah-compliant lender, plans to start an Islamic bank in Kazakhstan with the former Soviet republic’s government to tap its oil-fueled economic growth.

The plan is in its “very initial stages” and the venture may have start-up capital of $100 million, Ahmad Meshari Muhaidi, Qatar Islamic’s assistant general manager and head of corporate banking, said today in an interview at the World Economic Forum meetings in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Kazakhstan’s $100 billion economy has grown an average of 10 percent a year since 2000 as oil prices surged, triggering a construction boom and fueling demand for goods and services. The economy will probably average growth of 6 percent annually through 2011, Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev said today.

Demand for banking services and investments that comply with Muslim Shariah law’s ban on interest has increased as oil money floods into the Persian Gulf. The global Islamic finance industry’s assets under management are expanding by 15 percent a year and may have topped $1 trillion, according to the Malaysia- based Islamic Financial Services Board.

Qatar Islamic on April 20 said first-quarter profit surged 69 percent to $125 million after it started an Islamic private equity fund and won a U.K. investment banking license for its European Finance House unit.

BTA Bank, Kazakhstan’s second-biggest bank by assets, last month said it may open an Islamic unit together with Dubai-based Emirates Islamic Bank as it seeks to attract new customers from among the country’s 7 million Muslims. It may sell as much as $150 million of Islamic bonds, Chief Executive Officer Roman Solodchenko said.

Other Kazakh banks that have said they may tap Islamic debt markets include Halyk Savings Bank and Development Bank of Kazakhstan.

Qatar Islamic rose 1 percent to 131.4 riyals ($36.12) in Doha today, valuing the company at 25.9 billion riyals. The shares have risen by a third this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Will McSheehy in Dubai at [email protected]; Matthew Brown in Sharm El-Sheikh at [email protected]


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