Malta positions itself as new centre for Islamic finance in EU
The small European island of Malta in the recent past quietly opened its doors to Islamic banking and finance in an attempt to take on established hubs in Europe, namely London and Luxembourg.
Malta aims to benefit from both its international reputation as a financial centre with not overly complex and suppressing regulations, as well as from its relative proximity to Muslim countries in North Africa which can be reached in less than an hour’s flight, and the Gulf, which can be easily accessed on mid-haul flights via Istanbul or Cyprus.
FInanceMalta, a public-private initiative set up to promote Malta as an international financial centre, in its “Islamic Finance Sector Guide 2016” names a number of opportunities for the launch of Malta-based Islamic banking institutions and Shariah-compliant funds.
Malta also aims to build upon its international reputation as a center for learning and training to set up Islamic finance training institutions with the main benefit that English is one of the official languages on the island and at all higher education institutions.
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