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Meethaq widens network with state-of-the-art branch in SQU

MUSCAT, 19 November 2013 – Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, opened a state-of-the- art branch in Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) on Tuesday (19 November 2013).  H.E. Dr. Ali Bin Saud Al Bimani, Vice-Chancellor of SQU, presided as guest of honour at the grand ceremony attended by dignitaries and senior bank officials.

H.E. Dr. Ali Al Bimani congratulated Meethaq for opening the new branch, thereby providing world class Islamic banking services at the doorstep of the SQU fraternity of students and faculty members. H.E. Dr. Ali Al Bimani said: “The banking sector is witnessing a new phase with the launch of Islamic banking and the state-of-the-art Meethaq branch network reflects Bank Muscat's focus to redefine Islamic banking operations in Oman. We are thankful to Meethaq for its valuable contributions benefiting the SQU society and we look forward to stronger future partnership with the Islamic banking partner."

Bank Muscat has maintained a long-standing partnership with SQU, reflected at various levels. Bank Muscat is the first and only bank to offer banking services on SQU campus. As the nation's leading banking partner, Bank Muscat attaches great importance to national initiatives, especially higher education aimed at sustaining the country's progress and development. The association with SQU stems from Bank Muscat's commitment to the country's future generations.

Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group General Manager – Islamic Banking, said: “Meethaq is proud to open the new branch in SQU as part of its focus to expand branch operations across the Sultanate and thereby offer world-class Islamic banking experience to customers. The new branch design creates a unique ambience and banking environment in line with the Meethaq brand values of true Partnership, Transparency and Trust. Meethaq plans to expand the branch network and introduce a number of innovative products and services soon to complement the unique Islamic banking experience."

Sulaiman Al Harthy added: “Meethaq strives to fulfill the needs of customers with innovative Shari'a based products and the extension of the branch network is yet another proof of its commitment and dedication to meet customer expectations for Islamic banking. Meethaq is well positioned to provide Islamic financial expertise to diverse segments and thereby promote the good of society as a whole."

Meethaq plans to open branches in all major cities and towns across Oman. Bank Muscat is the first commercial bank in Oman to obtain CBO approval and launch Islamic banking window operations. 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. The Shari'a compliant products and services include savings account, current account, home finance, auto finance, credit card, mobile banking etc.

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.

As the pioneer of Islamic banking in 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, core banking system which supports Islamic banking operations, 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.