Westpac trade deal courts Islamic investors

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

Relevant offers

Latest business

Former Farmers boss Rod McDermott killed in car crash Government wants Free Trade Agreements to cover 90 per cent of exports Having children does not have to mean breaking the bank Construction of cellphone tower on footpath sparks controversy Here's why I don't like start-ups Labour-Greens have signed up to a joint position on surpluses, cutting debt How Toyota poured 500 years of work into its new campus - during a labour shortage Consumers deserve country-of-origin labelling on food Chart of the day: How many Northland students are at or above National Standards? Insurers offer no cover for damage by 'invited guests'

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