Corporate Governance Key To Gulf Country Success: Deutsche Bank

The countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have a very high chance of success in the development of their financial markets and promoting their competitiveness. This is shown in a recent research by Deutsche Bank. One of the key factors stressed on in the research report is progress made in corporate governance-related matters. The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf countries has made significant advances in establishing effective financial market regulation and oversight as well as a strong grip on market abuse and financial fraud. Continuing to follow this direction and committing the resources needed to achieve optimal consistency and effectiveness in regulation and market supervision is seen as crucial for achieving the goals of financial development and economic diversification.

Meethaq to begin operations on Jan. 21

Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has given its final approval to the Islamic banking arm of Bank Muscat - Meethaq - to start full-fledged operations. The starting date of the bank's operations is January 21st. Meethaq will begin functioning as a bank with 150-million-rial capital at its disposal. The money is intended to be used to boost growth opportunities. A full suite of regulated Islamic banking products will be offered.

UK-based Islamic bank seeks tie-up with Oman banks

Gatehouse Bank is making efforts to attract Oman's Sharia-compliant institutions to invest their funds in the UK and vice-versa. They are showing keen interest in establishing a business relationship with all Islamic banks. Gatehouse already have treasury services, capital market products like sukuk and real estate financing. There will be an official meeting between Gatehouse Bank's officials and such of Bank Nizwa and Bank Muscat. The goal of the meeting will be to explore cooperation possibilities and opportunities.

Bank Nizwa begins operations

The headquarters of Bank Nizwa will open today at Al Qurum. At the same time, its branches in Sohar and Nizwa will be opened as well. Gradually, several further branches will be opened. The launch of the bank was announced after the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) released the Islamic Banking Regulatory Framework (IBRF). It is expected that Bank Nizwas launch will push Islamic banking and economy in Oman and attract more deposits from Omanis, who have their deposits outside the country.

Sharia'a Audit Officer - Islamic Banking

• Provide an efficient Shariah Audit service, under the general guidance of the Manager, to all lines of business and the Bank’s operations, in a manner that will accomplish the Bank’s corporate objectives of Sharia Compliance in accordance with the Shariah Supervisory Board guidelines.
• Conducting financial, operational, process, information technology and compliance audit projects.
• Making best use of available information both in planning and executing assignments and working diligently to agreed objectives.


Sharia'a Compliance Officer

- Carry the Sharia review for documents, contracts, products, manuals, marketing material, policies and procedures and all other bank documents under the direct supervision of the Manger Sharia Compliance and Audit.
- Maintaining a log system and incoming Sharia queries from different departments and the response of the Manager or the SSB to them.
- Maintaining database and record for all the Fatawa issued by the SSB.
- Organize and maintain the agenda and schedules of the compliance department tasks.
- Assist the head of department in organizing, maintaining the secretariat of the Sharia Supervisory Board.


Business Advisory

· Provide full support to the team bankers in meeting client’s requirements and maintaining strong relationship with clients.
· Coordinate Group’s efforts in managing clients’ requirements
· Provide support to the Sector & Product Bankers and the Business Manager in Originating, structuring and executing Advisory deals.
· Liaise with other relevant departments in the bank to ensure completion of transaction to the satisfaction of the client.

90pc say they cannot afford to save at all

According to a study by the National Bonds GCC Savings Index, about 90% of the people in a number of GCC countries feel they are not saving enough for their future. The percentage of people, who do not put away any money for future saving, is 71% of residents in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, 74% in Saudi Arabia and 65% in the UAE. The study further shows that in Saudi Arabia 92% felt they were not saving enough. The percentages in the other countries involved in the study are 91% in Kuwait, 88% in Bahrain, 87% in the UAE, 85% in Oman, and 84% in Qatar.

RM & Relationship Officer Islamic Banking Division - Islamic Banking

Job Purpose

•To contribute to the growth in volume & earnings of Bank’s Corporate Banking business and ensuring a healthy Corporate Banking portfolio.
Key Responsibilities:

•Develop and nurture relationships with assigned companies Acts in an advisory role to the client fostering responsible banking.
•Seek to grow the business volume & earnings while maximizing customer satisfaction
•Handle relationships through regular meetings with clients and establish their current and future financial needs.


Sukuk sales may break $46b record on debuts

This year's record of $46 billion in terms of global sukuk sales is very likely to be exceeded in the coming year. A key reason is that countries like Oman, Tunisia and Egypt are just entering the market. Borrowing costs on Sharia-compliant debt have decreased 11.4 percentage points reaching 2.82% since the end of 2008 due to central banks in Europe, the US and Japan pumping funds into their economies in order to enhance growth rates. A rise in the Islamic banking assets will drive the demand so that it can reach $1.8 trillion next year. Compared to that, in 2011 the demand was $1.3 trillion.

Oman takes strict approach in Islamic banking rules

The central bank of Oman decided upon a strict approach to regulating Islamic banking in rules for the sector. The rules released on December 19th will set higher standards for the industry than many other countries. Last year, the Sultanate announced the introduction of Islamic finance, thus becoming the last GCC country to make this step. According to expectations, business activity will start at the beginning of 2013.

Corporate Banking Manager – Islamic Banking

•Plans, organises and controls the Corporate Banking Department in order to Maximize the Islamic Division’s Market share, profitability and volume on its range of products and services
•Well versed in Islamic Banking corporate products and structuring of the facility. Train the team members to execute corporate banking deals and understanding the methodology of structuring the same
•Monitors operational, economic and social data relevant to the business of the Bank for evolving the strategies and policy guidelines in the corporate Banking department
•Develops, recommends and implements on approval, marketing strategies and plans consistent with established goals in Corporate Banking, Islamic Division.

Omani regulator issues three takaful licences

Three new takaful licences has been launched and are waiting for completing of all the requirements, according to Oman's Capital Market Authority.

Al Madina-led JV to form $50m SME fund

Al Medina Financial and Korean Finance corporation are going to form a Sharia-compliant small and medium enterprise fund worth $50 million. The fund that should be operational in the first quater of next year will provide seed capital for SME companies in Oman, which use Korean technology.

StanChart to consider establishing Islamic banking operations in Oman

Standard Chartered (StanChart) extends its business activities in Oman by opening of its third branch in the country. According to officials, bankhouse considers establishing Islamic banking operations in the sultanate.

BankDhofar gears up to start Islamic banking

BankDhofar plans to launch 'Maisarah' Islamic banking services, according to the study that was carried out to ensure clients best in class Islamic banking experience. Maisarah Islamic banking services are subject to the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) approval.

CBO revises banking law to include Sharia operations

Central Bank of Oman's (CBO) board of governors has made a revision of the legal framework of Oman's banking system. The goal of the revision is to implement Islamic banking activities in the sultanate. In a recent statement, the board made its decision to introduce amendments to the existing banking law concerning Islamic banking public. The issued last week Royal Decree made amendments to provisions of the banking law in order to allow for the inclusion of Islamic banking as a licensed banking activity. Specialized banks as well as independent windows at existing commercial banks can be used for this purpose.

Bank Nizwa seeks regulator's nod to invest funds abroad

Bank Nizwa has given a request to deploy their funds abroad to Oman's central bank for consideration. Thus, Bank Nizwa will be able to get returns instead of keeping the money idle until the bank starts operation. The capital base of Bank Nizwa is OR150m, compared to that Alizz Islamic Bank's paid up capital is as high as OR100m.

Bank Dhofar & IFS sign agreement for Islamic Finance Products

In conclusion of a detailed and extensive selection process, Bank Dhofar chose IFS as the Consultancy and product implementation partner for Shariah compliant products for their corporate as well as individual customers. In IFS, Bank Dhofar found a trusted partner with the necessary knowledge and expertise to make offering suitable Shariah compliant products possible. According to the recently signed agreement, IFS will provide Sharia complaint products to the bank. The project consists of two phases. The first will include products for individuals while the second will include products directed towards corporates and individuals.

Oman's Al Izz Islamic Bank elects board of directors

According to a statement of Al Izz Islamic Bank, they have elected members of the board. The elections have taken place a month after the initial public offer of the bank's shares. The chairman, who is to lead a board of six members, is Taimur Bin As'ad Al Said. Last month, the bank sold 40% of its capital through a month-long IPO and thus managed to raise 40 million rials ($104 million). Moreover, Al Izz will list on the Muscat Securities Market on December 3rd.

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