Bekhnam Gurbanzadeh: "We view Russia as a hub of entire post-Soviet space"

Bekhnam Gurbanzadeh: "We view Russia as a hub of entire post-Soviet space"

On February 27, the first Russian Islamic economic forum "Russia - Guarantor of Partnership" will be held on the Sberbank Corporate University campus. Its participants will discuss various topics, including development of Islamic banking in the Russian Federation. Islamic banking prohibits speculations and loan interest, as well as financial operations that involve alcohol and tobacco. Adviser of deputy chairman of the board of Sberbank Bekhnam Gurbanzadeh spoke about the prospects of development of Islamic banking in Russia in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.

- Will Sberbank create Islamic banking branches?

- Right now we're working on this with our Chechen branch - we're developing a strategy for introduction of corporate products, as well as products for population. We focus on development of new deposits and instruments that will help us to actively invest, finance small and medium-sized businesses.

In addition, we will help several Chechen companies to reach international markets. In other words, we will consult them in the field of certification of products that comply with halal standards and requirements in such countries as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait.

I think that the Chechen Republic will become a pioneer in the entire North Caucasus region. After we develop a number of products and services there, we will further expand to Ingushetia, Dagestan and other republics.

- Do you cooperate with neighboring republics in this direction, in particular with Azerbaijan?

- As far as I know, Azerbaijan actively cooperates with the Islamic Development Bank. Government of the republic is studying and developing legislative base. I hope that this is just a beginning.

Today we view Russia as a hub of the entire post-Soviet space and we understand that once this model will bring benefits, it will be actively developed in the Russian Federation and then in the republics of the former USSR, the CIS countries.

- Why is Sberbank interested in this idea?

- I think it's a great idea because it allows to focus on client. Today Sberbank acts when there's demand. Sberbank is ready to provide customers with what they want, regardless of how big demand is. It can be huge, can be local, maybe just in a certain region.

Today we're answering any call of the market and try to become not just a bank, but a partner company for every client.

We will continue to work with the Central Bank, with the Bank of Russia. They listen to us, they really help us, they take part in development of this whole process. We have already shown first results, and I think that in the future we will receive support from the Central Bank.