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Europe Debt Crisis Offers Growth Opportunity for Islamic Banks

The European debt crisis and public anger over government aid to banks offered Islamic lenders a “golden opportunity” to capture a bigger share of the world banking market, according to Noor Investment Group LLC.

Islamic banking has the potential to overtake conventional lenders by offering an alternative to both Muslims and non-Muslims, Hussain Al Qemzi, chief executive officer of the United Arab Emirates-based group, said in a statement at the World Islamic Banking Conference in Singapore today.

“The world is crying out for a better, more ethical way of doing business,” he said. “Now is the time to position our industry as a global alternative financial system, one which can safeguard against the excesses.”

Islamic banking assets with commercial banks are expected to reach $1.1 trillion this year from $826 billion in 2010, according to an estimate published by Ernst & Young. Financial-services firms are under pressure from governments to reduce compensation amid public anger about trillions of dollars of taxpayer assistance to banks.

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