Azerbaijan’s Islamic banking skills to drive Russian Islamic finance development
By Gulgiz Dadashova
Islamic finance industry in Russia still needs to be developed, despite some 20 million Muslims living in the country, and Azerbaijan’s skills maybe helpful for Russia.
Russia hopes to learn from the experience of Azerbaijan in the field of Islamic banking, said Sergey Drobyshevsky, the scientific director of the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy in Baku last week.
He said the presence of IBA Moscow, a Russian subsidiary of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, the largest lender and the only state-owned bank in Azerbaijan, must contribute to this.
Drobyshevsky believes it will be easier for the Azerbaijani banks and businessmen to work in Russia than the Malaysian specialists of that sphere, where Islamic banking is also developed.
“There is no language barrier between Azerbaijan and Russia, they have similar culture and a lot in common,” said Drobyshevsky.
He also touched upon the prospects for the development of Islamic banking in Russia.
“The more financial instruments the market has, the more differentiated they are, the more effectively it helps investors to diversify their risks, according to the theory of finance,” he said. “These are new possibilities and their implementation does not depend on the state - it depends on the participants of the market themselves and potential customers of Islamic banking.”
Islamic banking can claim only 5 percent of the Russian financial market during 5-10 years, but the main thing is to start the process, Drobyshevsky emphasized, Trend reports.
Behnam Gurbanzada, the director of Islamic banking at the IBA, earlier called Russia a "promising" platform to further the development of Islamic finance.
“Azerbaijan with all prerequisites to build a bridge between Asia and the Middle East, as well as between the CIS and the Gulf countries, is supposed to receive good financial dividends from applying Islamic banking. The IBA is keen to develop a plan of amendments to the regulatory to apply the full-fledged Islamic banking in the country. The amendments can fasten up the process of creating the Islamic development center in Azerbaijan,” he told AzerNews earlier.
The Baku-based IBA is a universal bank with subsidiary banks in Russia, Georgia and Qatar, as well as representative offices in London, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Dubai and New York. The bank, 50.2-percent owned by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Finance, holds over 40 percent of banking assets in the country.
The IBA‘s reported consolidated total assets of 8.8 billion manats, aggregate capital of 1.008 billion manats and net profit of 64.5 million under audited IFRS as at year-end 2014.
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