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London could become European home of Sharia banking

21 July 2005
London is securing its position as a major centre for Islamic banking and investment due to the availability of relevant expertise and a flexible, well developed regulatory environment.

This is according to a report published today by RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) based on research commissioned by international property consultants, King Sturge.

Up to £500 billion and growing is currently sitting in bank accounts managed under Shariah law making Islamic banking one of the biggest and fastest growing global niche markets.

Shariah-run accounts must operate under a completely different set of rules.

Payment of interest is not allowed and investment activities must uphold Shariah values.

Investing in charities is a popular trend while companies involved with things like, pork, tobacco, and alcohol are off limits.

Angus McIntosh, partner and head of research at King Sturge said: "UK business is now familiar with ethical funds but there is a real need to find out more about the growing opportunities and the nature of the Shariah market as this area represents a crucial opportunity for UK businesses."

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