Westpac trade deal courts Islamic investors

BY ERIC JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2010

Relevant offers

Latest business

Cable network fault causes 'degraded' web browsing 'Modern slavery' laws put Kiwi companies under pressure to stamp out abuse Young, ignorant and starting a business Rod Oram: Invest more in the economy, not less Budget 2016: A bare-minimum budget for children New Zealand's saddest malls Health and safety leader David Wright says NZ on right path to safer workplaces GCSB Intercepts: secret details of The Budget 2016 intercepted Agent woos house sellers with Chinese demand Kathmandu admits chucking stock in dumpster but says it was faulty

Westpac is poised to bolster its exposure to the fast-growing Islamic finance market by offering a commodity-trading facility aimed at overseas investors that operates under the principles of Islamic law.

Islamic finance prohibits the earning of interest. Instead, there is a focus on profit-sharing based on buying and selling tangible assets such as property.

The move by Westpac coincides with an Australian federal government attempt to promote involvement in Islamic financing.

The Trade Minister, Simon Crean, launched a study outlining opportunities for the financial services sector to tap into the sharia-compliant investment and banking markets.

It follows the recommendation last month by a government-backed finance taskforce to overhaul tax rules to ensure Islamic financing products receive equal treatment.

The Australian Financial Centre Forum, which released a broader report into the nation's finance sector, highlighted Islamic financing as a potential funding source for the nation's banks.

The market for Islamic financial services has grown rapidly in recent years, and is estimated to be close to $1 trillion.

Ad Feedback

- Sydney Morning Herald

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content