Dubai's Noor Islamic Bank said on Sunday it had started operations, focusing on offering consumer and corporate banking services in the United Arab Emirates, with plans to expand that included Europe and Asia.
"Noor will be the turning-point in an industry that is rooted here but will grow globally to become the world's leading sharia-compliant financial services provider," Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, the bank's chairman, said in a statement.
The bank had opened branches in the UAE, it said, without specifying exactly where.
Its chief executive, Hussain al-Qemzi, told Reuters in November that the fifth Islamic bank in the UAE would open with 10 branches in the second-largest Arab economy.
Noor planned to buy lenders in Europe and Asia starting this year to tap demand among Muslims for financial services that complied with their beliefs, Qemzi had said.
Dubai Holding, which is owned by His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and Vice-President, and ruler of Dubai, created Noor in 2005 with share capital of Dh4 billion ($1.1 billion) and said the bank could be part of a plan to create two of the world's 10 largest financial institutions by 2015. (Reuters)
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