Singapore stakes its claim

The swift pace of economic development of Middle Eastern and other predominantly Muslim countries, combined with strong commodity exports from many of these nations, has fuelled demand for the development of a raft of funding instruments and investment products that comply with Islamic sharia law.

Malaysia has so far dominated the development of the Islamic finance market in Asia. Bank Islam, the country's first Islamic bank, was set up in 1983 and there are now 12 such banks in Malaysia. The

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