THE central bank is likely to approve this month the rules that will enforce Islamic banking in the Philippines, which is expected to attract more local and foreign banks, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Managing Director Arifa Ala said on Friday.

The implementing rules for Islamic banking will outline the licensing framework and the Shari’ah governance, she said on the sidelines of an Islamic finance conference.

The draft rules have been presented to the banking industry for feedback and the final version will be approved by the policy-making Monetary Board before they are released this year, Ms. Ala said.

Local and foreign banks, are waiting for the rules before making any decisions. Adnan Chilwan, the group chief executive officer of Dubai Islamic Bank and a resource speaker at the event, along with several local and foreign players, had expressed interest in the Philippine Islamic banking market.

Mr. Chilwan told the conference the Philippines is attractive to foreign investments given its focus on inflation and overall economic growth. — Beatrice M. Laforga