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September 15, 2009    

Kuwaiti government sets up Islamic bank

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by David Masters

A new Islamic bank in Kuwait is to be 76% owned by the country’s 1.1 million citizens.

The remaining 24% of Warba Bank will be owned by the state-run Kuwait Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

The Kuwaiti government has given the bank a capital of 100 million dinars ($350 million), making the stake owned by the public worth $265 million, or $240 per citizen.

Warba Bank is the fourth Islamic bank in the oil-rich emirate.

Other Islamic banks in the country include Kuwait Finance House, one of the world’s largest Islamic banks, Boubyan Bank, and Kuwait International Bank.

Islamic banks comply with Sharia law, which prohibits the payment of interest fees in exchange for the lending of money.

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Tags: , , , Kuwait, Middle East, new company, Sharia law, state-owned