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Frenzy of activity in run-up to Yemen’s presidential poll

Yemen’s Islamic banks are operating above capacity in the run up to the presidential election, according to a number of bankers who spoke to The Islamic Globe on Sunday.

Muhammad al-Kaboudi, DG of the head office of Shamil Bank of Yemen and Bahrain, said that a number of the country’s Islamic banks had set out strategic plans that would focus on domestic opportunities as security improves in Yemen. The country’s Islamic banks, said al-Kaboudi, had decided to concentrate on Yemen alone as a result of the continuing Arab Spring unrest, Iranian nuclear impasse and US real estate weakness limits Shari’ah compliant opportunities internationally.

Tariq Hamoud, head of research for Tadhamon International Islamic Bank, Yemen’s largest Islamic bank, said Tadhamon would be rolling out new products after the presidential poll. He said: “Our strategy for the coming period is focused on investing inside Yemen, which is still seen as high risks by foreigners.”

He explained that Tadhamon would support local entrepreneurs by lengthening the terms of their borrowing facilities. The areas that he said the local Islamic banks would support were real estate, residential and infrastructure investment and commercial lending and leasing.