Oman's central bank launches Islamic-banking unit

Oman’s central bank recently opened a department that is specially designed to oversee Islamic banking.

This move enhances the expertise and resources of the bank, while also centralizing all regulation and issuance aspects of Islamic banking.

Providing efficient supervision and regulation of Islamic banks is only possible when specific units are dedicated to specific sectors. This strengthens the bank’s operations by detecting risks early in the operation and providing growth injections to those risk areas.

Islamic banks now provide almost the same products as conventional banks, allowing them to keep up with the competition.

Leaders in Oman estimate that Islamic banks will quickly establish themselves in the region. There is a growing demand for products that are sharia-compliant in both Oman and nearby countries.

Oman was last remaining Gulf Cooperation Council member that hadn't established an Islamic-banking unit. Currently, only two banks offer Islamic banking operations in Oman. Several commercial banks in the country offer Islamic windows to substitute for Islamic banking, which currently represents just 5 percent of Oman’s entire banking assets. This figure is expected to grow quickly, as nearby countries have reported 20 percent and 30 percent market shares.