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16 I ORLD NEWSW Passion Islam I December 2009
Luxembourg welcomes
establishment of Islamic banks
establishment,” he added. offered by micro-finance institutions
“Since there seems to be an or socially-responsible institutions
increasing demand for Sharia and as such it also caters for non-
(Islamic law) compliant finance, Muslims,” he said.
Luxembourg as a financial centre is Asked if Islamic banking is better
willing to accommodate this demand equipped to deal with the current
and make its regulatory environment economic crisis, Mersch said Islamic
in compliance with such a need and finance has some circuit-breakers to
such a supply which ought to be well excessive leverage and risk taking
regulated,” noted Mersch. He was in and because it is also linked to the
Brussels to speak at the 5th Economic growth of the real economy it avoids
Forum Belgium-Luxemburg-Arab excessive growth which is not based
Countries organized by the Arab- on the real economy and therefore
Belgium-Luxemburg Chamber of the “Problems that we have seen in
Commerce (ALBCC). the present crisis and which mostly
The forum was dedicated to the derived from excessive leverage
banking sector in general and to the taken on by financial institutions are
Islamic banking in particular. During better controlled in Islamic finance.
his visit to Arab countries, Mersch “We have also seen certain
said he repeatedly heard interest resilience of Islamic finance during
of establishing banking activities the financial crisis. However, I have to
in Luxembourg. “We regularly sent add that Islamic finance is not immune
A top banker of Luxembourg a country missions led by the economic and to excessive risk taking as well and
famous for hosting international finance minister to those Arab needs to be subjected to same
financial institutions has said that countries and we have to see still the amount of regulation,” he added.
his country would welcome the first incorporation of new Islamic bank Commenting on financial relations
establishment of Islamic banks. in Luxembourg,” he said. between Kuwait and Luxembourg,
“We had Islamic banking The Luxembourg banker explained Mersch said there has been regular
institutions in the seventies which that in principle Sharia-compliant visits between the two countries on
discontinued its services and as for finance is not only restricted for the political level and they are ongoing
now there is no Islamic bank that Muslims. and during these visits the will for
operates in Luxembourg, but there is “You can also see Sharia- fostering cooperation in the financial
no prohibition to have a setup of such compliant finance as something I area has continuously been stressed.
an institution, “ Yves Mersch, President would call ethical or principle of social “I would very much welcome that
of the Central Bank of Luxembourg, justice and participation and as such the implementation of this political will
told KUNA in an interview. it is also following what we would soon show results,” he said.
“I would like to stress that the call alternative banking or alternative
government would welcome such an finance which is similar to what is
France to holds talks between
Armenian, Azerbaijan leaders
France announced that that they conflict, official sources said. not met with full agreement.
had a meeting between the leaders It was the sixth time for such a Foreign Ministry sources said that
of Armenia and Azerbaijan to seek a meeting to be held this year on the the talks were held in the residency of
breakthrough in the dispute between contentious, territorial issue. the French General Consul in Munich,
the two Central Asian nations over the The French Foreign Ministry said Germany.
region of Nagorno-Karabakh. that this round of talks was part of
The Group of Minsk, composed of a process “to draw up fundamental
the US, France and Russia, decided principles for settling the conflict.” A
CALL: 07506 466385
to hold the new round of the summit basic agreement was proposed to the
or email:
talks in its capacity as mediator in the two parties in November 2007 but has
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