Experts eye impact of Sharia law on Maltese business with Libya

It is too early to determine the implications of Libya’s plans for an Islamic banking structure for Maltese firms operating there, but they will certainly have to heighten their cultural awareness, Islamic finance expert Reuben Buttigieg told The Times Business.

Declaring Libya liberated on Sunday, three days after the death of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, transitional leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil said that Islamic Shariah law would be the “basic source” of legislation and all existing laws contradicting Islam would be nullified.

He said new banks would be established on banking principles which comply with Islam’s ban on interest and speculation. Interest would be cancelled from any personal loans already taken out for less than 10,000 Libyan dinars.

Islamic finance is a $1 trillion global industry and incorporates one of the fastest growing forms of banking.

“It is too early to determine the implications,” Mr Buttigieg said. “It all depends whether a dual system of banking will be allowed in Libya. If it is, then much will depend on Maltese firms’ partners and whether those organisations want to be Shariah-compliant.

(Source: Times of Malta )

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