Islamic Banking over the recent times has been the talk of new banking sector in the media and it seems to be more aggressive in gaining ground, months after its launch in East African country Kenya.
Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) is keen on establishing its footprints into other East African countries, already making its debut in Nairobi. The Gulf lender has somewhat enjoyed a positive embrace and will be hoping for the same response in the new territories.
“Our international expansion is on track as the bank officially received its licence in April from the Central Bank of Kenya to start our operations. This paves the way for the bank’s aspirations in Africa and proliferation of Islamic finance across Asia, Middle East and the East African Belt,” DIB chairman, Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani said.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in May opened the door for Dubai Islamic Bank to enter the local market after more than a year of waiting.
Kenya had until then only two fully-fledged Islamic banks, while five conventional lenders have been offering Shariah-compliant services and products through Islamic Windows.
DIB intends to exclusively offer Shariah-compliant banking services in the country.
The bank is expected to leverage on its massive financial muscle as it seeks to claim a piece of the fast-growing banking market in the region.
As at September last year, it had an asset base of $47.6 billion and capital of $7.4 billion.
The CBK said in May that DIB’s choice of Kenya as its entry point into sub-Saharan Africa signals “Kenya’s growing stature as a premier regional financial services hub.”
The bank is understood to be keen to cash in on the efforts by authorities to make Kenya a hub for Islamic finance in Africa with ongoing reforms expected to drive the growth of Islamic-finance operations.
Kenya has recently unveiled a package of initiatives aimed at developing a policy framework for Islamic finance in the country.