Banking in the Middle East and Africa
This region of the world contains a high proportion of young and relatively small banks. However, the potential for future growth is enormous coming from both the oil-fuelled modernistic sophistication of the Gulf States as they reach out around the world to the rapidly growing and newly-banked middle classes of Africa hungry for accounts, loans and payment services.
Islamic banking has had its greatest impact in this part of the world and so we start with a description of that. Under Islamic Sharia (šarì ah) law the payment of riba1 (interest) is prohibited and the receiver of finance must not bear all the risk of failure. Also investment in alcohol, tobacco, pornography or gambling ...