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DUBAI, Oct 12 (Reuters) - A group of Dubai government officials and businessmen said they were close to obtaining regulatory approval to create the world's first fully sharia-compliant bank devoted to trade finance.
The founding committee is in advanced discussions with the central bank of the United Arab Emirates to obtain an Islamic wholesale banking licence, the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, a government-backed body, said on Wednesday.
Emirates Trade Bank will specialise in international trade and commodity financing, the centre said, without giving details of the new institution's structure or financial backing.
Dubai, a top trans-shipment hub for trade in the region, said in 2014 that it was considering whether to set up such a bank. Although Islamic retail and corporate banking are growing around the world, sharia-compliant business is still only a tiny part of global trade finance. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Catherine Evans)