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Egypt’s Savings Vacuum Shows Struggle for Banks: Islamic Finance


24 Oct 2012 07:24 GMT   التعليقات ()       إضافة تعليق       طباعة       إرسال لصديق


Murad Hassan, who owns a stationary shop in Cairo, doesn't keep his money in a bank, and says expanding Shariah-compliant finance under Egypt's new Islamic government won't change his mind.

The 43-year-old father of three rarely has more than $500 in excess cash, which he uses to stock up on school supplies for his store on a street lined with small family businesses in Matariya, a low- to medium-income neighborhood in northeast Cairo. "It's never a large enough sum to consider doing more with it," he said in an phone interview Oct. 21.

Hassan isn't the exception. Nine out of 10 adult Egyptians don't have a bank account, the Middle East's lowest ratio apart from Yemen, according to the World Bank. The lack of clients underscores the struggle Islamists face to promote Shariah- compliant financing after last year's revolt propelled them to power. For Islamic banking to flourish in the majority Muslim nation, President Mohamed Mursi must lift economic growth from 2011's 19-year low of 1.8 percent, Capital Economics Ltd. said.


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