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Oman's first Islamic bank to start operations in Q3

Muscat, March 11, 2012

Bank Nizwa, the first dedicated Islamic bank in Oman offering Shari’a compliant products and services, has announced plans to start its operations in the third quarter of 2012.

The Islamic bank aims to launch the first IPO in the second quarter to secure the incorporation of the company.

Nazwa will open its first three branches in Muscat, Nizwa and Sohar areas of the Sultanate, said a statement from the bank.

Bank Nizwa said it will eventually offer an entire portfolio of commercial banking services, in accordance with the license to be issued by Central Bank of Oman (CBO) and the Banking Law promulgated by a royal decree, it stated.

Further ,the CBO will soon be issuing an Islamic Banking Regulatory Framework (IBRF) for Oman and Bank Nizwa will operate in accordance with this IBRF once it comes into force.

In a major step towards the establishment of the bank, Nizwa unveiled its brand-mark. The formation of Bank Nizwa came about with the CBO granting its initial approval to the licensing of the Bank to Sheikh Saud bin Ali Al Khalili.

Sheikh Saud along with 91 other founder shareholders appointed a founding 5-member committee to represent them, and help manage the establishment of the bank as a licensed Shari’a-compliant commercial bank, it stated.

The committee, to be chaired by Ahmed bin Saif Al-Rawahi, together with its appointed consultants, is readying an operating model for the bank. The Islamic bank is also in the process of obtaining approval for establishing and fitting out its head office, it added.

'We have undertaken a detailed feasibility study for establishing the bank and have drawn up a business plan in conjunction with an internationally reputed consultancy firm,' said Ahmed Al-Rawahi.

'The study reveals that there is substantial unmet demand for Shari’a compliant products in Oman. This together with the attractive economic fundamentals of Oman and booming banking sector, highlights the growth opportunity for Bank Nizwa,' he added.

According to him, the market for Islamic finance has grown rapidly over the last few years with the global value of Shari’a compliant assets reaching an estimated value of $1 trillion in 2010.

'Customers across the globe have shown an increasing propensity to adopt Islamic banking as their preferred mode of financing as faith-based attitudes coupled with viable options from Islamic banking have reinforced greater adherence to Shari’a in economic matters,' remarked Ahmed Al-Rawahi.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Oman | Islamic bank | Bank Nizwa |

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