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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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Providers of Islamic financing

Islamic banks have been expanding rapidly. There are now three distinct approaches to providing customers with Islamic financial services: fully fledged Islamic financial institutions; Islamic windows at conventional banks; and limited Islamic service offers by conventional banks. Each model has enjoyed success depending on the market in which it operates, the degree to which regulators are prepared to allow full-fledged Islamic banking and the shareholders are prepared to take up the Islamic banking business proposition.

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