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Islamic finance – ever on the increase

"Islamic finance has only popped up onto people’s radar screens in the West in the last five years or so," says Jeremy Beswick, head of asset management at European Islamic Investment Bank (EIIB). Despite its youth, though, Islamic financing is spreading around the globe and in recent months there has been a rapid increase in the range of real-estate-related products that banks have to offer.

Jeremy Beswick, head of asset management at European Islamic Investment Bank

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Geographical spread has been enhanced by EIIB’s Pan-European Islamic Real Estate Fund, which was established in December, and in April announced a £58.8-million ($116.6 million) investment in commercial property. The fund is the 10th-ever Shariah-compliant fund to focus on European assets, and EIIB’s fund is the only open fund available at the moment. The €200 million to €500 million fund will focus on properties in the EU, and throughout central and eastern Europe, with only France excluded because of its particular tax laws.

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