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Swiss Islamic bank planned

The continued boom in bank products compliant with Islam has spurred plans to set up a new financial institution in Switzerland based on the tenets of the faith.

National Bank of Kuwait, one of the Middle East’s largest banks, is planning an Islamic private bank in Switzerland in partnership with a Saudi Arabian institution. The move comes as Islamic banking continues to see strong growth, in defiance of the credit crunch. Industry assets have grown by about 20 per cent to $500bn (€316bn) since last summer, according to Moody’s, the ratings agency.

NBK, the third-largest bank in the Arab world in terms of assets, had already applied for regulatory approval, Ibrahim Dabdoub, chief executive officer told the Financial Times. He declined to name the Saudi bank and said the deal would require approval from Swiss, Kuwaiti and Saudi authorities.

The Islamic institution would target high-net worth individuals from the Gulf region, which is currently awash with liquidity as it enjoys an unprecedented oil-fuelled boom.

“There is demand, (and) Switzerland is still a

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