Process of Internationalization in Islamic Banking: The Case of Serbia

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Aida Hanić


Islamic banks are financial institutions operating in accordance with religious Islamic law (Sharia). Although it is familiar as non interest banking, because the interest is forbidden, Islamic banking represents a complete set of moral and ethical activities that must be taken into account when making investment decisions and financing business activities. Share of Islamic banking in Islamic finance is around 80% with the value of approximately $ 1.57 trillion by the end of 2015 (IFSI Stability Report 2016). Islamic banking in Western Balkan is present only in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) that has one Islamic bank, Bosna Bank International (BBI) established in 2000. Serbia, as a country that has attracted many Arab investors, doesn’t have any Islamic bank operating in the country. The aim of this research is to explore is there a public interest in Islamic banking, especially
among the commercial banks in Serbia and are there possibilities for development of Islamic banking in this country. To explore these two main questions, author conducted a research by using a questionnaire among the chairmen and members of the administrative Board of 12 commercial banks in Serbia. The result of the research show that commercial banks in Serbia are not interested in this type of a banking activity. On the other hand they are also not sufficiently familiar with the concept of Islamic banking. The research showed that process of internationalization of Islamic banking is not present in Serbia.

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