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Thursday, 27 September 2007

First Islamic bank in Italy to open in 2008

Rome- The first Islamic bank in Italy to operate according to the laws of the Koran is due to open in 2008, the presidents of the Association of Italian Banks and the Union of Arab Banks announced jointly Wednesday, according to Italian press agency adnkronos. "The next step should be the creation of a real Italian-Arab banking federation, which in perspective could represent a model to follow for other countries in the European Union," said Corrado Faissola, president of the Association of Italian Banks. Islamic law forbids the payment and collection of interest and the investment in businesses that are considered unlawful such as activities involving the sale of alcohol and pork products. The Union of Arab Banks, based in Beirut, comprises more than 300 Arab financial and banking institutions, representing the largest Arab banks in the region, the report said. "The consolidation of dialogue and cooperation opens important opportunities for growth and development not only for the banking sector and for Italy, but for all of Europe, and looking further ahead for the stabilization of the entire Mediterranean area and the Middle East," Faissola added. - (ET, 26 Sep 07)

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