University launches Islamic finance research unit

A NORTH WEST university is launching a research centre into Islamic finance.

Launched today at the University of Bolton , the Centre for Islamic Finance will begin with a lecture from Dr Ahmed Mohammad Ali, president of the Islamic Development Bank – a leading Saudi Arabian financial institution.

Dr Ali will address business leaders from across the region including lawyers, bank officials and commercial partners at the event at the university’s Senate House.

The centre for Islamuic Finance recognises that Islamic finance, particularly in the Middle East, is growing in influence and importance, and there is a need to understand the cultural issues including Sharia law, which precludes the lender charging interest rates.

Vice Chancellor Dr George Holmes, an economist, said the research centre will be attached to the university’s business school and students will be able to take Masters courses.

He said: “The Centre for Islamic Finance will transform the way we in universities think about the world of finance.  It’s a nationally-significant initiative led by an outstanding chairman, Professor Mohammed Abdul-Haq whose experience of Islamic banking at HSBC combined with his doctoral studies in the field at Oxford, make him a wonderful leader for this project.”

Dr Haq is a trustee of the Amman Arab University  in Jordan and he is a also founding member and chief executive of a merchant bank based in London.