Demands for exclusive licence delay establishment of Islamic bank in the Maldives

The Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) has confirmed that two banks have applied for the licence to establish an Islamic bank in the Maldives.

The first proposal is a public private partnership (PPP) between a multinational company and the Maldives government, and the second is for a PPP between a UAE company and the Maldives government.

The Finance ministry says that the new bank will focus on issuing loans to businesses, and the government is hoping that services will be extended to the atolls as well.

Both the government and the licence seekers are responsible for the delay in establishing an Islamic bank, according to Finance minister Ali Hashim. “Each party wishes to get an exclusive license but the government cannot give an exclusive license to any party. So the negotiations have dragged on and this has delayed the process,” the minister explained.