CBE Disapproves Giving More Islamic Banking Licenses

Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) rejected demands from four commercial banks asking to have Islamic banking licenses because there is low demand on these products in the Egyptian market, Sources at CBE said.

CBE told these banks that Islamic banking transactions are less than 4% in Egypt, while there are 14 banks with Islamic banking licenses; of which three are Islamic banks and 11 are commercial banks having license to conduct Islamic transactions in some branches, Sources told Amwal Al Ghad.

Sources expected that there will be a severe conflict between CBE and the Islamists, acquiring parliamentary majority, as the latter consider commercial banks are violating Sharia concepts. Besides, Salafist Al-Nour Party plans to establish an Islamic Sharia-compliant bank.

There are 200 about branches providing Islamic banking services in Egypt, according to latest information data in late February. In addition, the volume of deposits registered EGP 80 billion and finance reached EGP 50 million. Besides, there are eight Sharia-compliant mutual funds in Egypt.

Islamic banking will grow from 15% to 20% annually in Egypt, sources expected because of the increasing demand on Islamic services.

Global statistics shows that Islamic banks increased to 500 banks in the world, with a value of assets registering US$ 800 billion. Commercial banks having Islamic banking licenses are 320 banks in the world, with a value of assets reaching US$ 200 billion in 58 countries.