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Calls made for unified Shariah board to boost UAE market

Saif al Shamsi, assistant governor of the UAE central bank has said the country needs a centralised body for the Islamic finance industry to help develop its sukuk market further, Reuters has reported. "Despite the advanced state of the UAE in issuing Islamic sukuk, we believe that we still need to do more," al Shamsi said. "This includes finding a unified body for the main fatwas (decrees) in the Islamic financial services domain, as is the case in Malaysia." Islamic financial assets hit $1.3trn globally last year, a 150% rise in the past five years as the industry expanded beyond core markets in the Middle East and Malaysia, financial lobby group TheCityUK estimates.