UAE-state owned Emirates Post (Empost) will apply for a licence to create a postal Islamic bank this year, its chairman said in remarks published on Tuesday.
"We will apply for a licence in the next six months," UAE daily Emirates Business 24/7 quoted Abdulla Al-Daboos as saying. The paper did not give more details.
Demand for investments and financial services that comply with Islamic law - which includes a ban on the receipt of interest - is growing among the world's 1.3 billion Muslims.
This month, Noor Islamic Bank, which is 25% owned by the government of Dubai and 25% by the emirate's ruler, started operations with 10 branches in the UAE.
Empost and Noor Islamic said last week they will create a company with a capital of up to 500 million dirhams ($136.2 million) that would provide banking services to low-income people.
Abu Dhabi also plans to start operations of a new Islamic bank Al Hilal in June, which will focus initially on boosting its operations in the UAE and then expand into the Gulf and the rest of the Arab world. (Reuters)
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