Libya is hoping to have three new Islamic banks up and running in the nation next year.
A senior central bank official told Reuters that new licences are expected to be handed out in the early part of 2014 in a bid to meet the increasing demand for sharia-compliant financial services.
Under the previous political regime in the nation, the growth of Islamic banking was not encouraged and the state-controlled financial institutions dominated the sector.
Rules and regulations have already been passed to cover Islamic finance in Libya and the country is attempting to use them to build a modern financial infrastructure. Abdulmajeed Almaguri, Deputy Director of the central bank's banking supervision department, told the news provider that three Islamic banking licences will be issued and the central bank has received five applications from local investors.
The evaluation of the investors is currently ongoing and is expected to be completed in the next five months.
By Gary Cooper