The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has taken a 10-percent stake in the first commercial Islamic bank in Sri Lanka, which is to be opened shortly in the country, told a senior official from the Amana Bank Limited in Colombo to Arab News.
Amana Bank Limited, which obtained the provisional approval license from the central bank last year to become a bank, has got the green light from the Finance Ministry to operate as a commercial bank in the country.
According to the official, the new bank will start operations in the course of this year.
"Amana Bank will be Sri Lanka’s first licensed commercial Islamic bank to conduct all its business operations in complete harmony with the principles of Islamic banking," he said.
Islamic banking is an emerging alternative to the interest-based banking practice and is gaining popularity across the world’s communities, stated the Arab News.
The bank’s shareholding amounts to 3.4 billion Sri Lankan rupees and constitutes both strategic and retail shareholders with the capital raised by a private placement of shares.
With the end of the conflict in all parts of Sri Lanka analysts predict good business for the newly set up bank, it said.