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Meethaq to host International Islamic Financial Forum in November

​Global investors, Takaful operators, Shariah scholars to attend 2-day event

MUSCAT, 22 September 2012 – bank muscat’s Meethaq, pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman, has joined hands with Amanie Advisors, a globally recognised Shariah advisory firm in the field of Islamic finance, to host Muscat International Islamic Financial Forum (MIIFF) on 4th and 5th November 2012. The two-day gathering will be attended by senior industry figures, global investors, Takaful operators and bankers, as well as top Shariah scholars, spotlighting new opportunities in Islamic banking and finance in the Omani market as well as the wider region.

Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group General Manager - Islamic Banking, said: “As part of efforts to build up momentum for the launch of Islamic banking operations, Meethaq is delighted to join hands with Amanie Advisors to host the Muscat International Islamic Financial Forum. The conference will provide an ideal platform for industry leaders to meet and discuss new possibilities and collaborations in Islamic banking and finance.”

The conference will focus on the newly created Islamic banking opportunities in Oman and other countries in the wider region.  Specifically, the forum will discuss the current state of the Sukuk market, new opportunities for Takaful providers, winning strategies for distributing funds; and issues faced by new Islamic banks in Oman, such as asset-liability management, treasury and interbank money markets.

bank muscat has taken major strides as part of its proposed Islamic banking operations. The bank has assigned RO 150 million capital for Meethaq, subject to approval from the Central Bank of Oman. The bank is ready to launch its Islamic banking platform and has made headway by announcing a 3-member Shariah board. This decision to assign RO 150 million capital for Meethaq reflects the determination of the bank to be the market leader in Islamic banking in Oman.

As the nation’s leading financial services provider, bank muscat is well positioned to provide Islamic financial expertise to diverse segments and thereby promote the good of society as a whole. The bank has in place a comprehensive strategy to effectively respond to the directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos on Islamic banking and thereby cater to the financial needs of people in accordance with the guidelines and regulatory framework prescribed by the Central Bank of Oman. The bank is proud to have on board some of the brightest minds in Islamic finance to chart the way forward.

Meethaq will reach out to customers by offering a full suite of banking products and services that fully comply with Shariah principles. Inspired by belief and a tradition of trust, Meethaq will assist customers in staying true to their values.

The Meethaq strategy is to attract customers through innovative products and services. As always, bank muscat takes the lead in offering value added services and is confident that the proposed Islamic banking operations will benefit various segments. The Islamic banking operations will be managed by an experienced and professional team, independent and separate from conventional banking, led by its Shariah board, which consists of world-renowned Shariah scholars. The bank’s Sharia board members are Sheikh Dr. Ali Qaradaghi, Chairman, Sheikh Essam Muhammad Ishaq and Sheikh Majid Al Kindi.

As parts of efforts aimed at raising awareness on the main characteristics of Islamic banking and finance, Meethaq supported Oman Islamic Economic Forum (OIEF) which highlighted the importance of Islam in the socio-economic development of Oman and the wider Muslim world and the new era of Islamic financial intelligence in the growing field of alternative banking and finance.

The forum discussed macro-economic perspective to the practice of Islamic banking and finance, with an explicit emphasis on social responsibility, economic justice and developmental concern such as income inequalities and financial exclusion. Meethaq also hosted a series of seminars across the Sultanate addressed by Shariah scholars to familiarise people with the main characteristics of Islamic finance.

Amanie Advisors recently launched its operations in Oman, adding to the group’s growing presence in Kuala Lumpur, Luxembourg, Dubai, Dublin, Cairo, South Korea, Melbourne and Astana, positioning itself as a global advisory firm. Amanie Advisors see a lot of opportunity, both among the financial community, who are keen to expand into Islamic products, as well as in the financial advisory, where many are keen to source Shariah-compliant funding for projects.