Bank Nizwa: Islamic banking needs time to grow in Oman

Islamic banking in Oman is growing at a slower pace than expected and requires new legislation and stronger public awareness of the industry to flourish, Bank Nizwa CEO Jamil El Jaroudi said. He added that there is also a skills shortage in the Omani market. The legal and regulatory framework in Oman supports the launch of the Islamic banking industry but further development of legislature is needed for the sector to mature. Bank Nizwa, Oman's first independent Islamic bank, started operations in January 2013 and raised OMR 60 million in an initial public offering of 40% of its shares in May 2013. Jaroudi said the bank had no plans to issue new sukuk, or Islamic bonds. He said the bank planned to launch Internet banking services and other shariah-compliant products.