DUBAI, Oct 1 (Reuters) - National Bank of Fujairah said on Wednesday it has begun offering sharia-compliant retail banking products in the United Arab Emirates, as the lender aims to tap into rising demand for Islamic finance.
Islamic banks have been growing faster than their conventional peers across the Middle East and South East Asia in recent years, although in some markets such as Qatar this margin has been shrinking.
The growth of Islamic finance has also attracted interest from countries not traditionally linked to the practice, with Luxembourg this week joining the likes of the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and South Africa in issuing their first sovereign sukuk - the sharia-compliant version of a government bond.
NBF will offer retail banking products compliant with sharia principles through its branch network and plans to expand its Islamic offering to commercial banking, it said in a statement. It did not provide a timetable for when the latter would be introduced. (Reporting by Nadia Saleem; Editing by David French)