Muslims praying on “Main Steet” as it is time for prayers. Minerets in St. Louis, Islamic Centers in Dayton, and Now Shariah Finance next to “POP’S Soda Shop and Talbots”
comments by Allyson Rowen Taylor
- Written by:
- David Stevenson
Islamic finance is finally breaking into the mainstream. The driver for much of the growth in demand comes from Muslims who are looking for financial services that observe core Shariah ethical principles. However, another key factor has been growing oil wealth, with demand for ethical investments soaring in the Gulf region. Local stock markets have struggled to cope with this wall of money, forcing many Gulf-based investors to look overseas – and to London in particular with its many Islamic-compliant services. The UK also boasts a number of Islamic-compliant banks (five in total), including London-listed The Islamic Bank of Britain, which opened for business in 2004. This wave of new products and Islamic institutions has touched the debt markets, too – in April this year, the London Stock Exchange listed Sukuk, a Sharia-compliant bond.