Within seven years after the introduction of Islamic banking and finance industry in the sultanate, Oman has achieved a place among the top five countries dominating the global Islamic economy.
The State of Global Islamic Economy Report 2018/2019 (published by Thomson Reuters) has ranked Oman at the fifth position in the Islamic Economy Indicator, according to Dr Qais bin Issa al Yahyaei, the executive vice president of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO). The Global Islamic Economy Indicator gives a comprehensive picture of which countries are best positioned to address the multi-trillion-dollar global opportunity.
Speaking at a conference on Islamic finance organised by Omani French Friendship Association at Fraser Suites Muscat on Wednesday, Yahyaei said,
“I am pleased to note that, based on its multi-dimensional rating scale, Global Islamic Economy Report 2018/2019, ranked Oman at the fifth position globally in terms of Islamic economy. While this recognition is quite encouraging, it could be noticed that there is further potential to encourage local businesses to expand their outreach in all sectors.”
He noted that within a span of seven years since the launch of Islamic banking, the market share of Islamic banking assets in Oman has reached over 13.4 per cent with total assets of over RO4.6bn by June 2019. A total of eight Islamic banking entities are operating in Oman, consisting of two full-fledged Islamic banks and six Islamic banking windows.
“The profitability of Islamic banking sector in Oman has considerably improved during 2018 with a total profit of over RO34mn. This is an impressive growth of over 76 per cent from the previous year. All these achievements have already made Islamic banking sector in Oman among the 15th largest in the world,” Yahyaei said.
With its high quality infrastructure, businesses friendly policies and educated and energised youth, Oman has all the basic ingredients available for the promotion and growth of the Islamic economy, he said.
Apart from banking, Yahyaei said the Islamic capital market and takaful sectors have also shown simultaneous progress in Oman. “Based by several legal and regulatory initiatives for these sectors – including issuance of news laws and regulations – currently three Islamic funds and two takaful companies are operating in the sultanate. Moreover, four sovereign sukuk and five corporate sukuk have been issued so far, with a variety of structures and currencies.”
The Omani French Friendship Association’s conference deliberated on many issues including the next stage of the development of Islamic banking and Islamic capital markets in Oman.
H E RenaudSalins, Ambassador of France to Oman and Hind Bahwan, chairperson of Omani French Friendship Association, were also present at the conference.