MUSCAT, 15 March 2016 - Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, has won two prestigious awards in recognition of vital contributions to Islamic banking in Oman. Meethaq won the Best Islamic Bank in Oman award and the Sovereign Deal of the Year award by Islamic Finance News (IFN) at the awards ceremony held in Dubai. The Islamic Finance News awards recognise and celebrate success and contributions of individuals and institutions in the Islamic financial services industry across the world.
Sulaiman Al Harthy, Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Islamic Banking, said: “Meethaq is honoured to be chosen for the two important awards in recognition of vital contributions to Islamic banking and finance in Oman. The successful sovereign Sukuk issuance by the government of Oman is a significant milestone for Meethaq and we are grateful to the government for the confidence reposed in the bank to be associated with it. The success of Meethaq stems from its commitment to offer world-class Islamic banking service to customers."
The debut RO 250 million Sukuk issuance by the Government of Oman marked the first ever issuance of Shari'a compliant paper by the Government of Oman. The sovereign Sukuk issuance was well received by investors and was a step towards further developing Oman's capital market.
Congratulating Meethaq on its achievements, IFN noted that in what was a challenging year for the global financial markets, and with turbulence and volatility from which the Islamic financial industry did not escape, the Shari'a compliant capital markets saw another exceptional year marked by landmark deals, maiden entries, impressive resilience and new levels of innovation and sophistication.
In about three years of operations, Meethaq 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 plays a key role in financing projects of national significance, thereby contributing to the growth and development of the economy.
Al Harthy said: “Meethaq 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 also extended the only Shari'a based aircraft finance to the national carrier Oman Air for acquiring its second Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Meethaq is focused on developing as a benchmark Islamic financial institution in Oman and the region. Meethaq offers a full suite of Islamic banking products and services, including savings account, current account, home finance, auto finance, credit card, mobile banking and internet banking. Presently, Meethaq has 18 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 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.