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Arab Banking ready to cooperate with Russia - experts

October 11, 2014, 7:28 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Specialists stressed that the Islamic banking sector was growing rapidly

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WASHINGTON, October 11. /TASS/. Arab Banking is ready to cooperate with Russia if it creates favourable conditions in bank regulation, participants in a regional seminar on “Islamic finances” told TASS on Friday.

Specialists stressed that the Islamic banking sector was growing rapidly. Now it is about 1% of the world banking sector. It searches for entering new markets. “Russia, I can assure you, is an attractive market. I think the answer is - if Russia opens its regulation system, definitely there will be interest,” Dr. Hatim El-Tahir, Director of Islamic Finance Group, Deloitte & Touche said.

Emirates Islamic CEO Jamal Bin Ghalaita said: “Russia is very important for all of us. And we've been trying to do Russia.”

Answering a question “what’s preventing you from working with it”, Bin Ghalaita said, “I think, the regulation. After the regulation is opened, we'll invest, all the banks.”

Responding to if Arab banks are ready to work in national currencies and not necessarily in U.S. dollars, he said, “In Russian roubles. I think we're interested. You invest in us, we invest in you.”

Dr. Said Al-Shaikh, Senior Vice President of Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank, said, “There is a relationship between Russia and the region. And if the regulations in that country provide comparable issuances to what UK has done or Luxembourg or Hong Kong, countries within the region may participate. If they found an opportunity to be lucrative, and they look at it from the business perspective, aside from politics... And if there're no restrictions from their own governments.”

However, his colleague from the United Arab Emirates said all banks, including the Islamic ones, conformed to the regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Al-Shaikh also said nobody would quarrel with Americans even for the most beneficial projects.

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