Oman's first Islamic bank may open by year-end
Muscat, August 1, 2011
Oman's first standalone Islamic bank, Bank Nizwa, may open its doors by the end of the year or early 2012, the sultanate's central bank governor said in an interview with a local newspaper on Monday.
The bank, which received initial approval from the central bank in May, is expected to have a capital base of 150 million rials ($389.6 million), Hamoud Sangour Al-Zadjali told the Times of Oman.
Al Zadjali added that the bank would float a 40 percent offering to the public through an initial public offering (IPO), although he did not provide a time frame for the IPO.
He was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters. While neighbouring Gulf states have ramped up Islamic finance services in recent years, Oman stood out by refusing to participate in the industry, with its central bank head saying in 2007 "banks should be universal". The central bank reversed that stance in May.
Analysts said the creation of the country's first standalone bank is an effort to keep investment funds within its borders as local investors sought sharia-compliant investments elsewhere.
Under the new stance, new Islamic banks would be allowed to open and conventional lenders could establish Islamic branches. Some lenders, such as Bank Muscat have already offered Islamic products to clients.
Al Zadjali told Times of Oman that none of the existing Omani banks have yet applied for a licence to offer Islamic banking products under the new policy. - Reuters
More Finance & Capital Market Stories
- Qatar sets up mixed business incubator
- Kuwait budget spending up 8pc in April-Jan
- Thomson Reuters to host Mena IFR awards
- ADIB offers smartphone industry investment
- Gulf Finance House to start $3bn Tunisia project
- KFH completes ICT project upgrade
- Egypt urban annual inflation slows to 9.8pc
- BIBF signs deal with Palestinian institute
- Bahrain’s GDP set to expand 12pc
- KFH-Bahrain rebrands priority banking
- Bank Nizwa wins top Islamic bank award
- Qatar labour costs may jump: IMF
- Kuwait Q3 trade surplus hits $23bn
- Dubai trade growth up 7.6pc to $362bn
- Deloitte appoints new managing director
- Al Ramz tops UAE trading in Feb
- IFC in $150m loan deal with Bank Audi
- SME funding focus for Abu Dhabi forum
- Insurance House posts second year of profit
- ETF global assets hit record $2.44 trillion
- Bahrain firms plan IPOs
- Serbia wins $1bn Abu Dhabi loan
- Key equity banker resigns from Saudi Fransi
- DMCC to boost Islamic commodity trade with tie-ups
- IDB, KIA units to invest in Morocco
- First Gulf to set up $1bn sukuk in Malaysia
- Singapore’s UOB Bullion and Futures joins DGCX
- Infrastructure investment ‘key to growth’
- BKIC declares 30pc dividend
- StanChart profit falls 16pc in 2013