MUSCAT, 4 March 2012 – BankMuscat, the flagship financial institution in the Sultanate, hosted a seminar on Islamic banking at Ibri College of Applied Science, attended by dignitaries and prominent citizens. Skeikh Ibrahim Al Sawafi and Sheikh Azan Al Amri, researchers at Ifta’a office, Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, addressed the seminar aimed at raising awareness and familiarising people with the main characteristics of Islamic finance.
Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group GM – Islamic Banking, said: “BankMuscat is the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman. The Bank’s strategy is to attract customers through innovative products and services. As always, BankMuscat takes the lead in offering value added services and strives to increase the range of benefits for customers. We are confident that the Islamic banking seminar helped in shedding light on important aspects of Islamic banking from the Shariah perspective.”
BankMuscat recently announced the decision of its Board of Directors to set up an independent Islamic banking window and launch operations in accordance with the injunctions of Sharia, subject to approval from the Central Bank of Oman. In the run-up to meeting the CBO requirements, the Bank unveiled the logo of its Islamic banking window under the brand name ‘Meethaq’. Further, in line with CBO requirements, the Bank announced the formation of a 3-member Shariah board to ensure the ‘Meethaq’ operations are in compliance with Sharia.
Al Harthy added: “As the nation’s leading financial services provider, BankMuscat 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 to be prescribed by the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).”
BankMuscat’s ‘Meethaq’ will reach out to customers with the promise of being true to their beliefs, offering all the advantages of Islamic banking by following the principles of Shariah law. The ‘Meethaq’ suite of banking products which combine traditional values with modernity are in the pipeline to give the choice of staying true to one’s values. Inspired by faith and a tradition of trust, ‘Meethaq’ will help customers stay true to their values.
Al Harthy said: “Since Islam is the religion of the Sultanate of Oman as stated in the Basic Law, Oman is ideally placed to play a leading role in Islamic finance. Omani commercial codes are completely supportive to Islamic banking structure without any conflict. The commercial code has a very strong Sharia foundation in the form of Article 2, 4 and 5 of Royal Decree 55/1990.”