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Bank Nizwa gets final Sharia banking licence

Muscat - 

Bank Nizwa said it is all set to open its doors by the beginning of next year after receiving the final banking licence from the Central Bank of Oman (CBO). This follows the issuance of the Islamic Banking Regulatory Framework (IBRF) by the banking regulator on Tuesday.   

 According to a CBO press release, "[The IBRF] is in pursuance of Royal Decree No 69/2012, issued on December 6, 2012, amending the Banking Law and providing legal authorisation for Islamic banking."

"[The] central bank has been working upon this framework over the last few months, ascertaining best practices elsewhere and consulting the market widely. The framework is made out to be a sound platform for the establishment and growth of the Islamic banking industry in Oman.

"Conventional banks are also in different stages of preparing themselves for establishment of Islamic banking windows. They will all roll out shortly. As many as six local banks are fanning out with windows," the CBO added.

H E Hamood Sangour al Zadjali, executive president of CBO, said that the central bank has followed the Royal Decree and guidance faithfully and expects the launch of Islamic banking to be yet another milestone in the history of the financial sector in Oman, auguring well for the economy and the country as a whole.

In a separate press release, Bank Nizwa said its internal systems are connected to that of the CBO and the branches are in a state of complete readiness.

The bank will be undertaking a comprehensive internal test of its systems and processes, beginning December 23, as a precursor to the public launch.

Commenting on receiving the final licence, Dr Jamil el Jaroudi, chief executive officer of Bank Nizwa said, The wait is now over and we at Bank Nizwa are ready to set a benchmark in the Islamic banking industry of the sultanate.

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