The first takaful company received approval from the Financial Services authority. The U.K. has 5 Islamic banks already approved by the FSA, making it the country with the most well developed Islamic financial services market in the West. The FSA published a description of its approach to regulating Islamic financial institutions, described as 'no obstacles, no special favors'. I covered the FSA description in the December 2007 issue of the IHI newsletter, available as a PDF.
Reliance Money will begin to offer Shari'ah-compliant portfolio management in India. Despite having a large Muslim population (13.4% according to the CIA World Factbook), Islamic finance has been slow to develop in the country.
Brazil, a country without a significant Muslim population, is interested in beginning to become involved in Islamic finance.
The Nigerian Central Bank is expected to issue a decision about the regulation of Islamic finance & banking in the country.
Ibrahim Warde, an adjunct professor at Tufts University, recently provided an explanation of Islamic finance to the newspaper at Dartmouth University in southern New Hampshire.