Islamic lenders face uphill battle in Morocco

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 6 Jul 2015

With a 99% Muslim population, it seems like Morocco would present an opportunity for Islamic banking. However with its first Islamic bank set to open later this year, lawyers are unsure whether the country will reach its shariah-compliant lending potential.

Dar Assafaa, a subsidiary of Attijariwafa Bank, could open its doors as early as September 2015. Market participants have noted that it is significant that the firm has opted not to enter a joint venture with a foreign bank, as is common in new jurisdictions, instead building its own Islamic banking business from the ground up.

"There is definitely potential. Islamic finance, however, is relatively new for this market," said...