The Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB), the first of its kind to be established in the country, was declared open today at an elaborate ceremony, attended by President Mohamed Nasheed and several senior government and banking authorities.
The occasion was made doubly special because it coincided with the day the Maldives embraced Islam.
Speaking at the ceremony, MIB CEO, Harith Harun remarked that today was a momentous day for the country, as it marked the beginning of a new chapter in the development of the financial sector of the Maldives.
“Maldives today joins the ranks of some 47 countries around the world that have opened their doors to Islamic banking. Islamic banking has experienced rapid growth globally over the past few decades,” he said.
The Deputy Governor Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) Aishath Zahira acknowledged the significance of the historic occasion before listing a series of financial measures and changes the body is implementing in the country’s financial systems.
During his address to the audience, President Nasheed largely alluded to the reported shortage of dollars in the country.
“Today we are opening a ‘shop’ where people will get a good profit for their dollars. The dollars deposited in this bank will get the highest possible profit in the Maldives market, not the profit amount that the MMA and [other] banks want. It’s not 3-4 percent either,” he explained.
He said that to say there was a dollar shortage in the country would be incorrect, there was just a difficulty in obtaining dollars. He asserted that the government planned to implement a new plan that sought to address the problem.
“The government will take 2-3 new measures within the next 2-3 weeks in relation to the dollar market. Don’t worry about these measures; they will not be a burden. Each and every measure will provide something,” he revealed.
“The government intends to provide more opportunities for businesses to get a higher profit for their dollars. The government also plans to cut down the import duty charged on dollars, for people who import a large numbers of dollars to the Maldives, according to the number of dollars exchanged in the Maldives.”
After the ceremony, President Nasheed and Vice President Dr. Mohamed Waheed submitted application forms to open accounts at the bank.
source: haveeru online