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KARACHI: Islamic banking has recorded a robust growth in the country in the last few years and can further expand tremendously with the help of effective legislation and introduction of more products.

These were the views of speakers and Shariah advisors of Islamic banking at the 1st Islamic Finance Expo & Conference 2012, being held at Karachi Expo Centre with the support of State Bank of Pakistan.

They said that total assets of Islamic banking in Pakistan have grown by 34 percent to Rs 641 billion at the end of December 31, 2011 over last year's Rs477 billion.

Similarly, deposits base has also surged by 34 percent to Rs 521 billion during 2011 over last year's Rs390 billion.

They said that the market share of Islamic banking has grown tremendously in the overall banking industry. Total assets of Islamic banking are 7.8 percent of the total banking industry while deposits have 8.4 percent share in the total banking sector in the country.

There are five full fledged Islamic banks while the number of conventional banks with Islamic bank branches are 12. The total number of Islamic bank branches have increased to 886 in the country.

Shariah banking expert and partner Islamic Financial services of Ernst & Young, Omar Mustafa Ansari said that financing and investment by Islamic banks have surged by 40 to Rs475 billion in 2011 compared to Rs 338 billion in 2010.

Acting president Karachi Chamber of commerce and Industry (KCCI) Younus Bashir underlined the need for effective legislation for the faster growth of Islamic banking in Pakistan.

He also urged Islamic banks to introduce all the products available in the conventional banking so that the businessmen can entire depend on Shariah banking.

Younus Bashir pointed out that glimpses of conventional banking are seen in the Islamic banking and requested Shariah advisors to remove these doubts.

Shariah advisor and expert on Islamic banking Mufti Muhammad Ibrahim Essa also spoke on the occasion.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2012

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