Standard Chartered looks to Africa for Islamic growth

Dubai—Standard Chartered’s Islamic division is seeking banking licences in three African countries in order to offer its services to the continent’s large Muslim population.
Standard Chartered Saadiq could enter at least one of these markets Nigeria, Botswana and Zambia as early as 2017, Mohammad Ali Allawalla, who is head of Islamic banking for retail clients at the bank, said on the sidelines of a media briefing.
The Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to more than double from about 250 million people in 2010 to nearly 670 million in 2050, according to Pew Research Center. As well as talking to regulators in the three African countries, Standard Chartered Saadiq is also in discussions about gaining an Islamic banking licence in Brunei in South East Asia and working with the regulator there on guidelines for Islamic wealth management.
Standard Chartered Saadiq’s core markets are Pakistan, Malaysia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Bangladesh and in 2014 it entered the Kenyan market, its first move into Africa.—Reuters

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