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Egypt's Arab Investment Bank and IDB unit launch leasing firm.
Despite strong growth in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, Islamic finance has lagged in Africa, home to a quarter of the world's Muslims, with the Islamic banks that are in place slow to provide long-term financing to the SME sector.
In June, the ICD signed separate agreements to help develop Islamic leasing businesses in Malaysia and Uzbekistan, as well as extending $5 million in financing to support SME lending in the former Soviet state.
Enmaa Leasing Company, the latest firm set up by the Jeddah-based Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) will have authorized capital of 150 million Egyptian pounds ($20 million), a joint statement said.
The ICD is also in discussions with Nigeria and Ivory Coast to debut sovereign Islamic bonds (sukuk) after Senegal tapped the market last year; Niger has signed up for a sukuk program worth 150 billion CFA francs ($260 million).
Arab Investment Bank offers Islamic banking products in two of its 18 branches and is also planning to expand that range of products.
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