Cihan Bank

Shari’ah banking seeks path through Iraqi strife

For all the sectarian violence gripping Iraq, Shari’ah-compliant banks operating in the nation see opportunities for growth. Elaf Islamic Bank, the 14-year-old Baghdad-based lender, is targeting 28 per cent increase in profit this year, even as rival Cihan Bank said its income dropped last year as militants seized vast swathes of the country. However, Cihan Bank also said its outlook improved toward the end of last year as the US began airstrikes on Islamic State. Meanwhile, Iraq’s cabinet approved a draft law yesterday regulating the Shari’ah-compliant banking industry, which will now move to the country’s parliament for passage.

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