BBC News

What is 'Islamic finance'?

This week, the government launched a campaign promoting London as a centre for Islamic finance.

The aim is to counter growing competition in this industry from rising centres such as Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.

Hamid Yunis - head of the Global Islamic Finance Group at international law firm Taylor Wessing - told the Today programme: "Islamic finance is generally business dealings in accordance with Islamic principles.

"I think a good comparison is to those in the market who are playing in the ethical banking field."

"There are a number of principles, the most commonly known being no interest on business dealings - so money is invested, and interest is not charged."

"Also, the investments are designed not against speculation, against gambling - in line with the prohibition against gambling.

"And essentially, you know the asset you're going to be investing into, and the transaction you're going to be investing into."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday 14 March 2013.