JOHANNESBURG – First National Bank (FNB) said it had launched trade finance as part of its Islamic banking product suite, amid growing demand for Sharia-compliant import finance from business customers.
FNB’s Islamic trade finance offering is modelled on the Murabaha arrangement, which entails the bank entering into an agreement to purchase and assume legal possession of items being imported and selling them to the customer upon delivery. As part of the agreement, the customer is required to facilitate logistics relating to the purchasing and receipt of goods from the supplier or exporter.
The facility includes access to various trade finance products, such as import letters of credit, foreign bills for collection, forward exchange contracts, guarantees and open account payments.
FNB Islamic Banking chief executive Amman Muhammad said: “There’s strong appetite in the market for Islamic trade finance products among South African businesses. Therefore, access to this finance will create opportunities for more businesses to actively participate in trade activities which will have a positive impact on gross domestic product in the long term.”
With southern Africa being home to an estimated 250million Muslims, Muhammad anticipated significant growth in Islamic trade finance as the continent made progress in concluding the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, aimed at facilitating a single market for goods and services.
African News Agency (ANA)