Kuwait saturated with Islamic banks, cenbank head says

KUWAIT BANKS: Saudi Arabia's Al-Rajhi Bank, one of the biggest Islamic lenders in the Gulf, also operates in Kuwait.(Getty Images)

KUWAIT BANKS: Saudi Arabia's Al-Rajhi Bank, one of the biggest Islamic lenders in the Gulf, also operates in Kuwait.(Getty Images)

Kuwait's central bank governor said the Gulf Arab state is saturated with Islamic banks, according to remarks published in a newspaper on Tuesday.

Sheikh Salem Abdul Aziz Al Sabah told Arabic language daily Al Seyassah that there were five Kuwaiti Islamic lenders registered with the central bank and five conventional banks.

Saudi Arabia's Al-Rajhi Bank, one of the biggest Islamic lenders in the Gulf, also operates in Kuwait.

"I believe that with this the Kuwaiti market has reached saturation point for Islamic banks at this stage," the governor told the newspaper.

The governor did not elaborate. His office could not be immediately reached for comment.

Islamic banking is one of the world's fastest growing financial sectors, and it has attracted more attention in the aftermath of the global financial crisis as investors are increasingly looking for alternative, ethical ways of investing.

Islamic law, or sharia, bans charging interest and prohibits investment in sectors such as alcohol and gambling.

Independent analyst Ali al-Nimesh said while the current view of saturation may be accurate, demand could pick up in coming years.

"In the long term, we cannot be certain that it has been saturated." (Reuters)

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
The Gulf's sovereign dilemma

The Gulf's sovereign dilemma

With oil prices still faltering around their lowest level in...

How Kuwait is oiling the wheels of national reform

How Kuwait is oiling the wheels of national reform

Kuwait has for years sat on the sidelines while its neighbours...

Revealed: Diagnosis for keeping the Gulf healthy

Revealed: Diagnosis for keeping the Gulf healthy

Gulf states have largely footed the bill for healthcare for decades...

Most Popular
Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking