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New Islamic finance pact

The central banks of Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates have signed a pact to foster closer economic ties between the two countries, including those in the area of Islamic finance.

The agreement signals stronger co-operation between the two financial hubs, which held a combined $181bn in Sharia-compliant banking assets as of 2011, despite growing competition for a share of Islamic business.

Governors of both central banks signed the memorandum of understanding on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings in Washington.

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