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Islamic banking to spur capital market activities, says MSM

Muscat - 

Following the huge response to the initial public offering (IPO) of Bank Nizwa, the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) expects the launch of Islamic banking and the listing of banks and their products to add value to the bourse and boost activity in Oman's capital market.

Speaking to Muscat Daily on the sidelines of the Oman Islamic Banking and Finance Conference on Tuesday, Ahmed Saleh al Marhoon, MSM director general, said a large segment of Omanis would prefer to deal with Sharia-compliant banks rather than conventional banks.

He said, “The success of Bank Nizwa's initial public offering (IPO), which was oversubscribed by more than 11 times, is an indication of the good demand for Sharia-compliant market activity in the country. The launch of Islamic banking will add value to the economy as well as to Oman's banking sector and capital market.”

Marhoon added that the CMA has 'appointed a professional company' to 'draft the appropriate regulations for Islamic instruments.'

He said, “We expect Islamic instruments such as sukuk to be listed on the MSM in the near future, which will spur activity in the capital market. Some local companies had shown interest in issuing sukuk even before Islamic banking was cleared."

The MSM director general said that Al Izz International Bank and Oman Arab Bank are likely to float their much-anticipated IPOs in the third quarter of this year, with the possibility of two further companies floating stakes on the bourse before the end of 2012.

“However, there is no specific date for these IPOs as of now, but they are finalising the process for the offerings. Apart from these banks, we expect up to two more companies to come with IPOs by the end of this year,” he added.

CMA gives approval for Bank Nizwa share allocation 

Muscat - The Capital Market Authority (CMA) has approved the allocation of Bank Nizwa shares which were offered for subscription. In the first category, which represents small subscribers who signed up for up to 100,000 shares, each subscriber was allocated 2,000 shares.

The second category of subscribers, those who subscribed for more than 100,000 shares, was allocated 4.8 per cent of the shares.

The issue manager had announced that the Bank Nizwa issue was 11 times oversubscribed, raising more than RO600mn.

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