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Fortis considers Islam-friendly investments

Published on 05/01/2006

5 January 2006

BRUSSELS — The Belgian-Dutch Banking group Fortis is considering launching an investment plan that respects Islamic opposition to investments that earn money.

The concept of credit and interest is very complex within the Islamic faith, but the basic rule is simple:  money cannot earn money.

Fortis might therefore set up accounts that do not yield interest for the account holders. The interest could then be donated to the disadvantaged.

The banking and insurance firm is also considering setting up investment schemes which are not linked to companies involved in the alcohol, sex, gaming or tobacco industries.

“But at the moment, Fortis does not have any definite project that involves projects for Muslims,” the bank said. “We are only observing the sector”.

Fortis will base its investigations on activities in Malaysia, where the firm already has a stake in Maybank, the largest bank in Malaysia.

The investigations being conducted by Fortis follows the same policy used by Deutsche Bank, which already offers specific financial products for Muslims in Geneva.

And given the success of those activities, it appears almost certain that this new niche offers significant potential, Belgian newspaper ‘La Dernière Heure’ reported on Thursday.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news, Belgian news