London-based Umex Securities has launched an Islamic trade finance service targeting firms in the halal sector, addressing their limited access to sharia-compliant working capital and financing.

Umex aims to tackle a longstanding industry dilemma: halal companies, which produce consumer goods according to Islamic principles, rely mostly on financing from conventional banks despite Islam's ban on interest payments.

While some banks do offer Islamic trade financing, this tends to focus on large commodity-related deals while neglecting smaller firms, said Mahesh Jayanarayan, chief executive of Umex Capital Markets Group, the parent company of Umex Securities.

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