MUSCAT, 2 January 2015 - Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, took yet another major stride in supporting the Sultanate's economic development as Oman's first and only Shari'a based aircraft finance was extended to the national carrier Oman Air for acquiring its second Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Sulaiman Al Harthy, Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Islamic Banking, said: “Meethaq congratulates Oman Air on the arrival of its second Boeing 787 Dreamliner and is proud to successfully close the long-term financing facility. The closure of this complex transaction in terms of its Shari'a structure, legal documentation and accounting structure indicates that Meethaq is well placed to undertake large-scale complex transactions. This is a significant milestone in the long-standing relationship between Meethaq and Oman Air. Meethaq is grateful to the Government of Oman and the management of Oman Air for the confidence reposed in the bank."
Al Harthy added: “The successful closure of the financing facility for the national carrier is a stepping stone for Meethaq to diversify its assets mix. Meethaq is focused on playing a prominent supportive role in projects that are of national importance and the association with Oman Air will further strengthen this approach. The financing agreement with Oman Air based on diminishing Musharakah affirms the availability of viable Shari'a compliant solutions to cater to the banking and financing requirements of big projects in the Sultanate. Meethaq has in its portfolio all sectors, including tourism, agriculture, airline, shipping, manufacturing, commercial real estate, hospitals and education."
In about three years of operations, Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, has attained the leading position in Islamic banking industry in the Sultanate in terms of financing receivables, branch network, products and services, IT infrastructure development and human resources. The bank is playing a key role in financing projects of national significance, thereby contributing to the growth and development of the economy.
Al Harthy said: “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 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.
The Meethaq branch network has touched 13 since inception of operations in 2013. The bank also recently launched Hafawa Priority Banking service for high saving Meethaq customers. Presently, the Hafawa network includes eight centres in Meethaq branches in Qurm, Al Khoud, Seeb, Saham, Ibra, Nizwa, Buraimi and Salalah.
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, 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.