DUBAI — Kazakhstan's second-largest bank, Bank TuranAlem and UAE-based Emirates Bank will be forming a new Islamic bank in Kazakhstan.
The bank will be a 50/50 joint venture and it will be the first financial institution in the CIS region to offer Shariah-compliant financial products, said Mohammad Kamran Wajid, head, financial institutions division, Emirates Bank.
The decision to form a joint venture follows a Memorandum of Understanding for mutual cooperation that was signed between the two banks in early May.
Wajid said the bank had met with regulators and was now carrying out a feasibility study. "A licence was not a problem," he said, adding that the regulations governing Islamic banking were evolving and that Emirates Bank would be able to help shape them. "It is a virgin market for us," he said.