The Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) has said that they will open the bank for business on March 7, the day Maldives embraced Islam.
Rf 150 million share worth MIB was developed with an 85 percent share from the Islamic corporation for the Development of Private Sector of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and a 15 percent share from the government.
During the first press conference held in the bank on H. Coconutvilla, Ameeru Ahmed Magu, Managing Director and CEO Haris Haroon revealed that all the work required to open the bank has now been completed.
“Now we are testing the systems, training our employees and working on the operating manuals. All of this will be completed within the next 3 or 4 weeks and we will be open for business by the end of the month. The bank will be opened on March 7th, which marks the day that Maldives embraced Islam,” he said.
He introduced the bank’s Board of Directors and the Shariah Board. The bank chairman is ICD CEO Halid Al Abudi, while the Government is represented on the board by the State Minister for Finance Ahmed Asad. The only Maldivian on the Shariah Board is Maldives Higher Education Vice Rector Fayyaz Ali Manik.
Hiris said that while there are some legal difficulties in running an Islamic bank, they will broaden the business. The bank has also decided to provide internet banking and ATM services.
“Until the bank is able to walk on two legs, the government wishes to keep a share. Afterwards even those shares will be released to the public. The highest amount that the government will keep is 5 percent,” he said.
He said that finding a way to store the reserve money of the bank in Maldives and selling and buying land are legal issues that need to be solved. He said that a commercial bank and an Islamic bank are very different.