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Thursday, April 24, 2014  

Islamic banking to play key role in boosting local economy: Zadjali
MUSCAT Two- day Oman Islamic Banking and Finance Conference kicked-off on Tuesday at Grand Hyatt Muscat. The conference gives stress to achieve convergence between existing banking regulatory systems and relevant international standards, using modern technology, customer service, and understanding their demands, long-term risk management policies, application of international best practices and sticking to ethical standards when practicing Islamic banking and investment operations.  

The opening ceremony of the conference, which is organised by Oman International Trade and Exhibitions, was patronised over by HE Hamoud Bin Sangour Al Zadjali, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).

“Islamic finance looks to help meet requirements of economic sectors, indicating that there is no conflict between Islamic finance and finance under the traditional economic rules as both aim at maintaining resources bestowed by Allah by utilising them in productive projects serving national economy and this the essence of Shariah based Islamic banking, he said.  

Zadjali added that Islamic banks play an important role in the development of the economy through attracting deposits and financing economic activities. Islamic banking is not about money, but seeks to finance real assets and project implementation and through it individuals can contribute to the development of investments and at the same time achieve public interest on religiously and legally accepted foundations.

He also said that after issuance of the Royal directives by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said to allow Islamic banks in the Sultanate, in addition to open separate windows in existing commercial banks that wish to conduct banking business in accordance with the Islamic Shariah, CBO board of governors approved to establish two Islamic banks such as Bank Nizwa and Al Izz Islamic Bank. A number of conventional banks have taken the necessary steps to offer Islamic banking services through separate windows. 

He added that the CBO has proposed amendments to the Banking Law to authorities concerned and they are expected to be finalised soon. 

Ahmed Bin Saleh Al Marhoon, Director General of MSM, said that banks play an important role in economic development as they are basis of modern economic system and the main organiser of the relationship between depositors. Banks are working to gather and mobilise national savings, organise fund flow and utilise them in various investment activities for economic development.

Marhoon said that the Islamic banks will help attract Omani migrant savings to the Sultanate and utilise them in domestic economy. Islamic banks will find new economic projects through activities, such as the credit, speculation and participating in supporting development and creation of new jobs. 

He added that Islamic finance tools will be one of the most important sources of financing economic projects, help marketing them and increase demand for MSM as an organisation with strong legislations and sophisticated trading systems that facilitate and regulate the process of trading. 

He said that operation of Islamic banks in the Sultanate will create some sort of competition between conventional banks in customer service, which will be reflected positively on improving service delivery, reduce the cost and increase sources of financing.  

MSM will help Islamic banks to obtain the necessary funding sources to finance its activities through putting into circulation Islamic finance tools, such as Islamic bonds and certificates of deposit and other tools, he added.

Oman News Agency
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