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Islamic Banking

A Guide for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

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This guide is part of International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Trade Finance programme, which provides assistance to help small firms in developing countries develop their capacities to link to global markets through exports. It is intended primarily for trade support institutions of developing countries, and owners or finance managers of small firms. The aim is to help these firms decide whether Islamic banking options are feasible for them, and how to use them. This guide intends to help the non-specialist reader understand and use Islamic finance. Part I – Understanding Islamic Finance – covers the key principles and perspectives of Islamic banking relevant to small firms. Part II – Using Islamic Finance – consists of a “how to” guide to use Islamic banking instruments for specific transactions.

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Islamic microfinance: An emerging market niche

An estimated 72% of people living in Muslim-majority countries do not use formal financial services. Even when financial services are available, some people view conventional products as incompatible with the financial principles set forth in Islamic law. In recent years, some microfinance institutions (MFIs) have stepped in to service low-income Muslims who demand products consistent with Islamic financial principles – leading to the emergence of Islamic microfinance as a new market niche.

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