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BankMuscat assigns RO 150 million capital for Meethaq Islamic banking window

MUSCAT, 20 March 2012 – BankMuscat, the flagship financial institution in the Sultanate of Oman, has assigned RO 150 million of capital for its proposed Meethaq Islamic banking window. The final allocation will be determined by business opportunities in the market and the Board has indicated that the assigned amount may increase if required. The capital allocation will be subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

Sheikh Khalid bin Mustahail al Mashani, Chairman of BankMuscat, said: “BankMuscat is proud to be the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman. The Bank is ready to launch its Islamic banking platform and has made headway by announcing a 3-member Shariah board and developing its Meethaq brand. This decision to assign RO 150 million capital for Meethaq reflects the determination of the Bank to be the market leader of Islamic banking in Oman.”

The Chairman added: “BankMuscat has taken major strides as part of its proposed Meethaq window launch. 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.”

Dr. AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive of BankMuscat, said: “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 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.”

Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group GM - Islamic Banking, said: “BankMuscat’s strategy is to attract customers through innovative products and services. As always, BankMuscat takes the lead in offering value added services. The Bank strives to increase the range of benefits for customers and we are confident that the proposed Islamic banking window operations will benefit various segments. The Bank has always strived to fulfill the needs of customers with ground-breaking solutions and Meethaq is yet another proof of its commitment and dedication to meet customer expectations for Islamic banking. The Islamic banking operations will be managed by an experienced and professional team, independent and separate from conventional banking.”

The Bank’s Islamic banking operations will be segregated from its conventional counterpart and led by its Shariah board, which consists of world-renowned Shariah scholars.