Kuwait Turkey Bank (Kuveyt Turk) opened a branch in the German city of Frankfurt yesterday to be the first Islamic financial institution in the eurozone. Hamad Al-Marzouq, Board Chairman of Kuwait Finance House (KFH), which owns the largest share in Kuveyt Turk, said he was proud to see the first Islamic bank operational in the eurozone.
"We are proud to have this license. Exercising banking in line with the Islamic sharia is very important not only for the German side, which seeks to boost Germany's financial position, but for millions of clients wishing to use banking services offered by the bank in three German cities," Marzouq said in a statement to KUNA.
Kuveyt Turk seeks to encourage "five million Muslims in Germany to use our services", he said. The bank, he added, also sought non-Muslim clients who might be attracted by the "moral commitment" of Islamic banking. Marzouq, in a bid to lure clients, said the bank was not investing in the manufacturing of arms, cigarettes, alcohol or sectors that do not comply with Islamic sharia.
Kemal Uzan, Kuveyt Turk general manager, thanked KFH for facilitating the opening of the branch in Frankfurt. "Working in such a competitive market is a big challenge," he told KUNA.
Uzan explained that Kuveyt Turk did not carry out speculative operations. Kuveyt Turk is active in the German market since 2004 but was only capable of practicing partial banking operations. It was allowed to carry out full banking services in Germany last year.
Kuveyt Turk is co-owned by KFH, Kuwait's Public Authority for Social Security, the Islamic Development Bank and the Turkish Awqaf authority.