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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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Using Islamic finance: Introduction

Islamic banking, although still small in size and offerings, is evolving and growing at a rapid rate. The market for Islamic financial products grew by more than 20% a year in 2007 and 2008. The total size of Islamic banking assets at the end of 2007 was estimated at about US$ 580 billion;3 another US$ 300 billion was invested in Islamic mutual funds; and the Sukuk or Islamic bond market represented over US$ 100 billion of assets.

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