Morocco to Create Sharia Board and Open Financing to Participatory Banks

Tunis- Morocco’s King Mohammed VI issued a Royal decree on February 17 directing the establishment of a sharia board for Islamic finance. The objective of this decree is to oversee the Moroccan Islamic finance system, according to the country’s official bulletin, in a step that could help the market attract Gulf investors. This perspective is based on a participatory approach.Islamic banks from Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates have expressed interest in entering the Moroccan market once the bill becomes  law.The financial system is based on Islamic scholars’ interpretation of Islam that bans interest payements.  In Morocco, the system is called the Sharia Committee for Participatory Finance  and is composed of ten Islamic scholars and at least five financial experts, according to the official release. The members will be chosen by the president of the Supreme Ulema Council in Morocco. For the Moroccan Sharia Board, the word “Islamic” (in reference to banks) will be changed to “participatory” in the legislation, to encourage Moroccans to contribute to its development and enable private firms to issue Islamic debt independently from the question of religion.The Parliament approved the Islamic finance bill last November, which was the first step to establishing Islamic finance banks.Moroccans are in favor of this system. A study conducted in June 2012 by the Islamic Finance Advisory and Assurance Services (IFAAS) revealed that 94% of Moroccans are in favor of the practice of Islamic finance in the country.Edited by Elisabeth Myers© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission. read more