Morocco hopes for islamic finance rules by end

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Nov 25 Draft Islamic banking and insurance regulations have been prepared in Morocco and could be passed by parliament before the end of next year, an Islamic finance executive said on Monday."The draft laws have been finalised and submitted to the parliament," Said Amaghdir, chairman of the Moroccan Association for Participative Finance Professionals, an Islamic finance business association, told Reuters.

"We hope the validation of the law will be for an Islamic banking window and then for full-fledged takaful (Islamic insurance)," Amaghdir said on the sidelines of the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai. Morocco has been seeking to develop Islamic finance for about two years, partly as a way to attract Gulf money and fund the huge budget deficit.

The government originally planned to issue its first sovereign Islamic bond this year but that plan appears to have been delayed by disputes within the government over other policies and a cabinet reshuffle in October.

The Islamic finance laws could clear the way for Morocco to see its first conventional bank with an Islamic window, as well as sukuk issuance by private firms, Amaghdir said. Two or three private firms could tap the market fairly quickly after the laws are passed, he said."We need a national sharia