Under the patronage of HE Hamoud bin Sangour Al Zadjali, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman, Bank Nizwa held the 2nd Islamic Banking Forum at the Crowne Plaza Muscat. Attended by more than 150 government and public sector representatives, the Forum served as a platform for decision-makers and industry experts to address the challenges and opportunities within the Islamic Banking especially against today’s backdrop of plummeting oil prices.
Bank Nizwa CEO Dr. Jamil El Jaroudi kicked-off the conference highlighting the growth of Islamic finance around the world and emphasizing the importance of collaboration between public and private organizations in various sectors in order to produce tangible results. Taking the first step, Bank Nizwa reiterated its commitment to drive the Islamic Banking industry to reach greater and sustainable new heights by organizing such a Forum.
Presenting the keynote speech, HE Hamoud bin Sangour said, “The banking sector in Oman is operating soundly as banks are showing strong financial indicators in terms of asset quality, provision coverage, capital adequacy and profitability. The main objective of the CBO’s monetary policy is to ensure the stability in the financial system and maintaining liquidity, which is reflected in the domestic demand in the banking sector, as between the period of September 2014 to September 2015, the sector recorded a growth of 16.4% in the total assets to reach OMR 29.6 billion.”
HE Sangour added, “Islamic Banking in Oman has successes in attracting a notable share in the domestic market due to demand for Shari’a=compliant products both in deposits and financing. The share of Islamic Banking in the total assets of the Omani banking sector amounted about 6.5% at the end of September 2015.”
Dr. Jamil El Jaroudi, CEO of Bank Nizwa said, “Globally, the assets intermediated by the Islamic Banking industry have reached an estimated 2 trillion USD. This growth is expected to accelerate further global expansion in response to increasing demand for Shari’a-compliant financial products and services. It is based on this backdrop that Bank Nizwa has organized this event for the second year running, to shed light on some of the most pressing challenges in the current economic spectrum, explore opportunities and inspire new ideas that will benefit this thriving industry.”
Dr. El Jaroudi added, “Looking forward, it is up to us to contribute to the diversification of the Omani economy and develop a collaborative effort that will enable the Sultanate to become the knowledge-based economy it envisions. As such, this Forum provides us with a gateway to a dialogue firmly rooted in our desire to achieve that vision and drive of the Islamic Banking industry.”
The Forum consisted of two highly interactive panel discussions. The first, entitled ‘the Economic Outlook in the Context of the Region’ was moderated by Dr. Hatem Al-Shanfari, Member of the Board of Governors of CBO and featured HE Eng. Salim Al Aufi, Undersecretary, Ministry of Oil and Gas, as well as Sheikh Ahmed Al Marhoon, Director General of Muscat Securities Market and Eng. Amran Al Marhoubi, Technical Director of Petroleum Development Oman. The second panel, which was moderated by Mohammed Sajari from the Shari’a Compliance Department at Bank Nizwa addressed ‘the Challenges and Prospects of Islamic Finance in Oman’; with participation of Dr. El Jaroudi, Sohail Zobairi, CEO of Dar Al Sharia Legal and Financal Consultancy and Mughees Shakut, Head of Islamic Finance at College of Banking and Financial Studies with industry insight and know-how.