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Alburaq backs up Balls promise on Muslim finance

12 February 2007
Islamic home finance provider alburaq has launched a product which offers UK Muslims a shariah-compliant alternative to traditional mortgages.

The product, which is targeted at mid-range professionals, will lend customers up to 99 per cent of their chosen property value, up to an upper limit of £400,000, and discount payments for the first three years.

But the product will "meet the needs of our Muslim clients, whilst maintaining the strictest level of Shariah compliance", stressed Keith Leach, head of alburaq.

The key stipulation is that interest ('riba' in Arabic) be excluded, since it is prohibited by shariah law for Muslims to either give or receive interest.

The mortgage alternative from alburaq will be followed later this year with a commercial property product and a savings product, expanding the market in Islam-appropriate financial products.

In January, treasury minister Ed Balls emphasised the government's commitment to promoting shariah-compliant financial offerings and promised to address issues such as disproportionate stamp duty and capital gains tax on some 'Muslim finance' products in the forthcoming Finance Bill.

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