First bank presenting Islamic banking product appears in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 15 / Trend N. Ismayilova /
Azerbaijani Nikoil Bank has introduced the Islamic Wadi'ah Yad Daman banking product and developed three additional such products, Islamic Banking Product Development Manager Anar Yusufzade said.
"The new product is a savings deposit. Three more Islamic banking products are under development. They represent another deposit and two loan products," he said.
He said that Azerbaijani legislation does not allow for the use of all Islamic banking products. However, it is possible to provide a number of products in the country without violating the provisions of the law.
"The developed products take into account all the requirements of Shariah. They do not contradict Azerbaijan's legislation," he said.
He said it is difficult to further expand the range of banking services in this area because the principles of Islamic banking, focusing on the real sector, are restricted by local law.
"The bank sends three developed products for external audit conducted by the Shariah panel, which verifies its compliance with Islamic principles," he said.
He added that there is a significant Muslim population in Azerbaijan. Some Muslims want to invest their savings and others want to take advantage of resources in accordance with the principles of Islamic banking.
Access to the product will be provided in all 14 Nikoil Bank branches in Baku, Ganja, Sumgayit, Barda, Lankaran, Gabala and Yevlakh.
The bank is actively cooperating with the Auditing and Accounting Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, the Islamic Research and Training Institute, the Islamic Development Bank Group, Amanie Business Services Malaysia and several other organizations.
Nikoil Bank has operated in Azerbaijan since 1997 after the founding of the Nikoil Azerbaijan Investment Company (AIC Nikoil). Since 1998, AIC Nikoil has been a shareholder of the Ulpar commercial bank. Topaz Investments purchased a controlling stake in Nikoil AIC in 2008. Nikoil Bank's shareholders are: Topaz Investments - 53.1 percent; CAIC Nikoil - 28.7 percent; Uralsib-Invest - 13.9 percent; and the ISR Holding - 4.3 percent.