When the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt with the cooperation of Salafist allies, they pledged to promote Shariah-compliant finance, especially in the country’s stock exchange.

The Islamization of Egypt begins apace, as evidenced by the violence-laced rioting in the streets in recent days.  But that Islamization is also characterized by the emergence of other aspects of Shariah–such as Shariah finance.

Now a Cairo-based finance firm has raised the first $100 million in its bid to promote Shariah finance in the Arab world’s most populous Muslim population…

Cairo-based Ridge Islamic Capital said on Wednesday it has $100 million to raise its capital and invest in funds over the next two years to tap a growing market for Islamic finance.

The firm was launched on Wednesday after Dubai-based regional investment company Ridge Solutions International Holdings, which is providing the $100 million, acquired Egyptian investment banking and asset management firm El Rashad.

El Rashad operated on conventional financial lines but Ridge said assets that it managed would now be converted to be sharia compliant, according to a timeline set by a sharia compliancy board, likely to be about two years. Future investments would all meet Islamic principles.


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