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Moody’s, Oman Banks host roundtable on Islamic Finance

Oman Banks Association and Moody’s Investors Service jointly organized an Islamic Finance Roundtable with a cooperation with the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) on October 19, 2023 in Muscat. The event brought together about 60 participants representing financial sector regulators, senior representatives of Islamic and conventional banks as well as other financial sector sides in the Sultanate of Oman.


The experts shared valuable insights into the remarkable growth witnessed in Islamic banking and finance sector in Oman as well as at the regional and global level. Factors contributing to this growth, such as an increasing demand for Shariah-compliant financial services, sophistication of products and active regulatory support were discussed in depth. The roundtable also touched upon Sukuk ratings, regional experience and challenges faced by Islamic banking sector in the issuance of capital raising Sukuk.


Tahir Salim al Amri, CBO Executive President, delivered the Welcome Remarks, followed by Ali al Mani, Board Member of Oman Banks Association and Nitish Bhojnagarwala, Senior Vice President of Financial Institutions Group, Moody’s Investors Service.


The first session of the event, featuring Nitish Bhojnagarwala provided valuable insights into the global landscaping for Islamic banking and Sukuk markets, where he highlighted growth trends in Islamic banking across the GCC, Africa, and CIS countries and shared projections for gross financing needs and sukuk issuance in various regions.


In the subsequent panel discussion moderated by Nitish Bhojnagarwala, participants explored the growth and penetration of Islamic banking system in Oman and the region. Panellists included Dr Abeer al Yaqoobi, Acting Manager, Licensing Department, CBO; Francesca Paolino, Analyst, Moody’s Investors Service; Khalid al Kayed, CEO, Bank Nizwa; and Shamzani Hussain, GM, Meethaq Islamic Banking. Finally, Mohammed Ali Londe, VP – Senior Analyst, Financial Institutions Group, Moody’s Investors Service, discussed Takaful growth trajectory and drivers in Oman, profitability trends and future challenges for takaful operators going forward.


The final session of the roundtable was moderated by Murtadha al Lawati, AGM, Oman Housing Bank and panellists included Nitish Bhojnagarwala; Moody’s Investors Service; Salim al Maharbi, CFO, Bank Nizwa; Suad al Balushi, AGM Head of Treasury and FI, Oman Housing Bank; and Mohammed al Balushi, AGM – Head of Treasury and Investment, Ahli Bank.











Oman Daily Observer