KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Islamic banking is gaining ground with non-Muslims worldwide due to its strict lending principles, Singapore’s third-largest lender OCBC said on Monday, reflecting industry efforts to transcend religious beliefs to gain market share.
Sharia finance is a blend of Islamic economics and modern lending principles and its products can be sold to Muslims and non-Muslims.
While it was previously a small market catering to Muslims who wanted to avoid interest-based conventional banking, Islamic finance has become popular in recent years due to cash-rich Gulf Muslim investors and rising demand for ethical investing.
Non Muslim investors have also been looking for less risky alternatives since the onset of the global credit crisis over a year ago cast doubt on many Western risk management practices.
But the Islamic finance sector is still relatively small and the industry wants to grow its market share to become a global alternative to conventional banking.
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