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Tuesday, 25 September 2007

'More to be done' to promote Islamic finance

The government has done a great deal to promote Islamic finance in the UK but a lot more needs to be done to ensure a "level playing field", an expert has said.Product manager with Lloyds TSB Aktar Ahmed said the reclassification of profits made through Islamic contracts into alternative finance income was a "fantastic milestone" which allowed Sharia compliant finance to compete in the open market.He said the government is currently examining sukuks, and probably considering issuing government sukuks. "One of the issues with the Sukuk is the tax situation around it - a Sukuk effectively is a bond, and there are issues around the tax on the income on a Sukuk specifically. That's something that's being looked at," Mr Ahmed said.Sharia law forbids making money using money and so charging interest is prohibited. It also outlaws investing in alcohol, pornography, cigarettes and gambling.As chancellor, Gordon Brown said he wanted to make London a "gateway" for Islamic financial products. - (London SE, 24 Sep 07

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