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Kenny clears way to attract Islamic Finance

THE Government is to clear the way for Ireland to become a centre for Islamic Finance (IF), the Taoiseach said yesterday.

Enda Kenny (right) told the Irish Funds Industry Association annual conference that the Government is reforming the tax code to allow IF to flourish.

"Ireland has recognised its importance in the global financial system through adapting our tax system and financial regulatory system to ensure a level playing field between Islamic Finance and conventional measures.

"In addition, Ireland has been active in concluding double taxation agreements with important Islamic states, including recently Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE," he said.

IF differs from western finance in several ways. Banks are not allowed to charge interest on loans, while investors cannot put money into businesses related to gambling, pork or pornography.

Meanwhile, the IFIA is to open offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta and London with the IDA. The Irish funds industry grew to €1.88 trillion assets under administration last year.

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