Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 July 2019

Morocco approves law on Sharia-compliant insurance

Morocco allowed five Islamic banks and three windows to offer Sharia-compliant banking services in the country since early 2017

Insurance companies will soon be able to launch Takaful subsidiaries. Youssef Boudlal/Reuters
Insurance companies will soon be able to launch Takaful subsidiaries. Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

The upper house of Morocco's Parliament on Tuesday approved a law governing Sharia-compliant insurance, known as takaful, which is expected to give a much-needed boost to Islamic finance in the country.

Insurance companies will be able to launch takaful subsidiaries as soon as the law is published in the official bulletin, Islamic banking professionals told Reuters.

Morocco, the most advanced country in North Africa in developing Islamic finance, has allowed five Islamic banks and three windows to offer Sharia-compliant banking services in the country since early 2017.

Islamic banks, known in Morocco as participatory banks, avoid interest and pure monetary speculation.

Takaful will equip Moroccan Islamic banks with a life and general insurance mechanism, said Said Amaghdir, President of the Moroccan Association for Participatory Finance Professionals.

Islamic banks have so far issued uninsured property and car loans, known as mourabaha, for a total of 6 billion Moroccan dirhams (Dh2.31bn), Mr Amaghdir said.

But for takaful insurers to thrive there is a need for access to capital markets, he said, urging the bourse regulator to approve measures to enable Sharia-compliant investments for them.

"We need in Morocco a supreme financial services authority to ensure a better co-ordination between the different regulators: central bank, insurance regulator and bourse regulator to speed up processes," Mr Amaghdir said.

Updated: July 10, 2019 11:06 PM

SHARE

SHARE