Al Baraka sees Libya seen expediting Islamic license

Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:09am GMT
 

By Shaheen Pasha

DUBAI Oct 26 (Reuters) - Bahraini lender Al Baraka Bank expects the change in Libya's government to expedite its previously filed Islamic banking license in the country, the bank's chief executive said on Wednesday.

"Under the new government, we hope that we can process our expansion (in Libya) a little bit faster," said Adnan Ahmed Yousif in a telephone interview with Reuters. "We are going for a full retail bank there. We hope that it can be done next year."

Yousif said the bank is very keen on expanding into Libya, given its presence in other North African countries such as Egypt and Tunisia. The company had applied for a license to open a representative office in Libya at the end of 2010 but the revolution in Libya stalled approval.

Libya declared its liberation on Sunday after 42 years of one-man rule by Muammar Gaddafi came to an end with his capture and death last week, setting the North African state on course for a transition towards democracy.

The interim council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil declared that Islamic sharia law would be the basis for legislation, adding this included setting up Islamic banking in the North African state. (Reporting by Shaheen Pasha, Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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