International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) is planning to launch a stand-alone sharia-compliant Islamic banking unit following the implementation of the new Islamic banking law later this year.

Behnam Gurbanzada, IBA’s director of Islamic banking, said that the new unit will enable, that is 50.2% owned by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Finance will boost its Islamic financing business in the country.

Additionally, IBA is also planning to set up a domestic Islamic banking platform across its subsidiaries in Russia, Georgia and Qatar.

Meantime, IBA is also developing a sharia-compliant student financing product.

Gurbanzada said: "IBA is working on developing new products as well as establishing a platform for a separate, fully sharia-compliant unit."

Gurbanzada added that IBA has till date extended $180 million of Islamic financing in the country and expects this to increase to as much as $750 million within a year.

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