Islamic finance gears up

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Mohammed El Qorchi has a good primer on Islamic finance - discussing recent trends, new instruments, and future challenges:

Islamic finance is developing at a remarkable pace. Since its inception three decades ago, the number of Islamic financial institutions worldwide has risen from one in 1975 to over 300 today in more than 75 countries… Yet despite this rapid growth, Islamic banking remains quite limited in most countries and is tiny compared with the global financial system. For it to take off and play a bigger role, especially in the Middle East, policymakers must tackle enormous hurdles—notably on the regulatory front.

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