At a media briefing held at the Headquarters of Bank Nizwa, Khalid Al Kayed, CEO, Bank Nizwa, highlighted the prospects for Islamic finance Oman. Al Kayed also declared the Bank’s financial performance in 2018.
Supported by the unique model adopted in the Sultanate, Al Kayed stated that Islamic Banking in Oman was poised for steady growth. According to Thomson Reuters’ projections, Islamic finance assets are projected to grow to $3.2 trillion by 2020, with Islamic banking reaching $2.6 trillion globally.
Al Kayed emphasized the fact that the Islamic finance sector in Oman has been punching above its weight since introduced to the market. “The Oman model when it comes to Islamic finance has its own character when compared to even more experienced markets. Central Bank of Oman and other regulatory authorities have been enabling this sector to grow with a realistic and balanced approach that takes into account the challenges and opportunities alike. A key proposition for the industry in Oman is the standardization of Shari’a-compliant solutions offered in the market in line with the requirements of the National Shari’a Board.”
As the largest and fastest growing full-fledged Islamic Bank in the Sultanate, Bank Nizwa is leading the sector’s growth by diversifying its portfolio into a multitude of industries. The bank’s investment portfolio is now divided 50-50 between retail and wholesale banking.
Since inception in 2013, Bank Nizwa has been the go-to reference for Islamic finance taking the lead in raising awareness about this novel concept and the benefits it offers to both individuals and corporations.
During 2018, the Bank Nizwa was able to lead the segment’s market share, successfully demonstrating strong resilience and performance across all its departments.
It recorded the highest growth rate in the Sultanate’s banking industry with OMR 7.5 million in net profit representing a 98% growth after tax for the period ended 31 December 2018. In addition, the bank’s total assets grew by 25% to reach OMR 873 million compared to OMR 697 million last year, while its total customer deposit portfolio reached OMR 712 million achieving a growth of 35% year-on-year.
“There is a real opportunity for Islamic finance to play a bigger role in the financial market versus conventional finance,” said Al Kayed. “We will continue leading the efforts of raising awareness to various stakeholders over the increasingly important sector for Oman’s economic diversification efforts, as well as its benefits and impact on people’s lives.”
Al Kayed went on to explain that the Islamic finance sector has a significant pool of liquidity in Oman. This constitutes an opportunity for businesses to achieve portfolio diversification. Getting more corporates and small and medium enterprises to utilize the banking solutions available in our sector would mark a new step for the industry to gain more popularity and market share.
“The transition towards modern digital economy globally has been a key component of our approach to provide a safe and secure digital environment for our customers. Bank Nizwa is deeply committed to staying competitive and leading the way in Oman in order to provide progressive Shari’a-compliant solutions for all.”
The success of Bank Nizwa has primarily been driven by raising awareness and offering a true alternative to conventional banking. The bank’s strategy is built around innovation, efficiency, and the deeply inherited values in Islamic finance.
Bank Nizwa’s roadmap for 2019 is centered on delivering unparalleled customer experience, driving core business efficiency, fostering a high-performing working environment and enhancing its agility to adapt to rising trends.