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Meethaq initiative to highlight Islamic finance in economic development

MUSCAT, 10 November 2015 – Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, launched a new initiative aimed at highlighting the role of Islamic finance in the economic development of Oman. The new Shua'a initiative by Meethaq, centred on an awareness programme on Islamic economics, was unveiled at a media briefing at the head office of Bank muscat on Tuesday 10 November 2015.

Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group General Manager – Islamic Banking, said: “The launch of Shua'a, the new Meethaq initiative to promote the concept of Islamic economics, marks a milestone in the activities of the flagship financial institution in Oman. The contributions of Meethaq Islamic Bank is not limited to products and services, but there are many benefits accruing to society and economy as well, contributing to the progress and development of the Sultanate. The objective of Shua'a is envisaged to be achieved through a series of seminars, workshops and events to highlight the role of Islamic banking complementing the Sultanate's economic development."

The programmes to be held under the banner of Shua'a will see the involvement of national cadres, especially scholars, researchers and entrepreneurs, to identify areas in which Islamic economics can benefit the country and the people. Notably all Shua'a programmes will have the participation of Shari'a Supervisory Board members, who are making vital contributions to the success of Meethaq.

Al Harthy added: “Meethaq Islamic Bank is contributing significantly to the growth and development of the Omani banking sector and we are witnessing an upswing in Islamic finance and investment compatible with the provisions of Shari'a laws. We see a growing interest among retail and corporate clients to take advantage of the new opportunities offered by Islamic banking and finance."

As the leading Islamic financial services provider in the Sultanate, Meethaq has many achievements relating to financing major projects in various fields, thereby contributing to the growth and development of the Sultanate's economy. The notable finance facilities offered by Meethaq include the refinancing facility of RO 78 million signed with Oman Shipping Company for its three very large crude carriers (VLCCs).

Meethaq, under the umbrella of Bank Muscat, is the centre for Islamic financial service in Oman, operating on the principles of Transparency, Trust and Partnership, ensuring the comfort of remaining true to one's religious tenets and values.

Presently, Meethaq has 12 branches across the Sultanate and plans to expand the network as well as launch new products and services to complement the unique Islamic banking experience. The bank has invested in staff, systems and controls to ensure the service is delivered in a professional, segregated and fully Shari'a compliant manner. Meethaq offers a full suite of Islamic banking products and services, including savings account, current account, home finance, auto finance, credit card and mobile banking.

Meethaq has adopted the best practices in Islamic banking and finance worldwide to combine a robust model which protects customers and complements the Islamic banking industry. Every Meethaq product goes through the process of Shari'a compliance certification by the Shari'a Supervisory Board and is created in line with the guidelines of the Central Bank of Oman.

Meethaq stands out for its independent Shari'a Supervisory Board, separate capital allocation from shareholders' money, unique risk management tools, complete fund segregation, separate books of account, Shari'a based core banking system, stand-alone Islamic banking branches and proper profit distribution mechanism among investment account holders/depositors. The adoption of AAOIFI standards (Accounting & Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions) distinguishes Meethaq Islamic banking practices in terms of standardisation of products and services.