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Qatar Islamic Bank unit gets UK licence approval

By Agencies


European Finance House (EFH), a unit of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), has received an investment banking licence from the United Kingdom's Financial Services Authority, the lender said.

EFH will provide financial services that comply with Muslim law targeting clients in the UK, continental Europe and the Gulf Arab countries, it said in a statement late on Monday.

"London is now widely regarded as the principal financial hub for Islamic banking outside the Middle East and we intend to meet this expanding market," Chief Executive Michael Clark said.

Britain said in November it had started consultations into issuing Islamic bonds, or sukuk, a first for a Western government.

Qatar Islamic, which owns a 66 percent stake in EFH, plans to list shares of the new firm within three years, the bank's Chief Executive Salah Mohammed Jaidah told Reuters in November.

The remaining stake is owned by Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, Groupe Financiere Centuria and the Founding Development Team, according to EFH's website. (Reuters)