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Last Updated: Monday, 28 July, 2003, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
First Islamic stockbroking service launched
The first UK stockbroking service complying with Islamic law has been launched.

Britain's 1.8 million Muslims will be able to enjoy a tailored stockbroking service which will be equipped to advise on whether an investment complies with Sharia law.

Under the law Muslims are forbidden from investing in any companies involved with alcohol, arms, tobacco, pork and gambling.

They are also forbidden from investing in big banks, as these make profits from charging interest on loans.

There has been growing awareness of the need to supply financial services to Britain's Muslim community.

Pension problems

Last month, in a move welcomed by the Muslim Council of Great Britain, HSBC became the first big bank to offer a mortgage that complies with Islamic law.

You're not going to get a balanced portfolio but the net result is you are meeting with your faith
Hardeep Tamana, Fyshe Group

This followed a report from market analyst Datamonitor, estimating that demand for Islamic mortgages in the UK was so strong that gross advances could reach 4.5bn ($7bn) in 2006.

The stockbroking service being offered by Fyshe Group could help Muslims, previously put off by the need to observe Sharia law, to save more for their retirement.

At present, strict observance of Sharia law could prevent Muslims from investing in company pension schemes.

However, Sharia law observance means that shares in a lot of Britain's biggest companies, traditionally seen as offering the best returns, would be out of bounds.

Hardeep Tamana, a director of Fyshe Group summed up the dilemma facing Muslims considering investing only in Sharia compliant firms.

"You're not going to get a balanced portfolio but the net result is you are meeting with your faith."


WATCH AND LISTEN
Fyshe Crestar director Hardeep Tamana
"Our main criteria is to reduce the impact of interest"



SEE ALSO:
Islamic mortgages 'worth billions'
29 Nov 02  |  Business
UK to encourage Islamic mortgages
18 Feb 02  |  Business



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