An employee counts Russian rouble banknotes
An employee counts Russian rouble banknotes at a small private shop selling home appliances in Krasnoyarsk December 26, 2014. Russia's rouble strengthened in early trade on Friday amid thin trading volumes as many Western markets were closed for the Christmas Day holidays. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin Reuters/Ilya Naymushin

Russian economy reportedly shrank in the month of November. This is the first time the country's economy has contracted since the recession in 2008. Falling ruble, low oil prices and economic sanctions are said to be taking their toll on the economy. Russian banks are reportedly exploring Islamic finance as an option to raise money.

According to a report by Reuters, the Russian economy contracted by 0.5 percent in November this year. According to the report analysts expect that the contraction is likely to get worse in the future, primarily due to low oil prices.

The low oil prices have been blamed on increased supply in the global economy. The OPEC countries in the recent meeting failed to come to an agreement to cut production and stem the fall in price of the commodity.

Russia is one of the major oil exporters in the world and its economy is heavily dependent on revenues from these sales. The country is also affected by the economic sanctions imposed on it for its role in the Ukraine crisis. Russian banks and companies are reportedly finding it difficult to borrow funds from international sources that were previously available to it.

Russian banks and companies are now reportedly looking at Islamic finance as an option to raise funds. According to a report by Bloomberg, the heads of Russian banks and companies met with their counterparts from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in a two-day meeting in Bahrain.

The topic discussed was said to be Islamic finance. Russian officials reportedly do not have sufficient understanding of how Islamic finance works. They are said to be exploring the options now because the effect of economic sanctions will become acute in the next 2 to 3 years.

Vnesheconombank, Russia's state development bank, is reportedly seeking advice on how to sell its first Islamic bond. The country is expected to benefit from 15 percent of its population that is following the religion of Islam. It is still unclear how much money the banks and companies can hope to raise through this method and if it will be sufficient to address the concerns of recession in 2015.

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