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Minister: Morocco to have first Islamic bank before end of year

The Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance Mohammed Bou Said said on Tuesday that the country's first financial institution fully compliant with the principles of Islamic sharia law will open before the end of 2016.

The minister made his remarks during a parliamentary session about the delay in the launching of an Islamic banking system in the country.

"The central Bank of Morocco is working on the issue," Bou Said said, pointing out that the Bank of Morocco is legally authorized to study requests from entities willing to invest in the Moroccan Islamic banking sector, while the government has no authority over the bank.

Moroccan lawmakers have protested what they said was "a delay in authorising Islamic banks" after the passage of more than a year and a half since the parliament adopted a bill regulating Islamic banks and sukuk issues.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Morocco Abdul Latif Aljwahiri denied at the end of March any obstruction or delay in the launching of Islamic banks in Morocco.

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