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Omanis interested in Islamic Finance-study

Muscat, December 27, 2011

Omani customers have expressed a strong appetite for Islamic Finance with a rapid take-up of banking products expected within the first 12 months of being launched, key findings published from Oman’s first independent market study showed.

The report entitled ‘Islamic Finance in Oman – Sizing the retail market', revealed that 85 percent of Omani customers are ready to take up Islamic Finance products. 

It was independently commissioned and published by Islamic Finance Advisory & Assurance Services (IFAAS), international Islamic Finance consultancy.

The report analyses the retail market for Islamic Finance in the country across all sectors of the financial market, including banking, finance and insurance. It examines the current behaviour of consumers and measures future market trends to gauge the real potential of it in Oman.

The report fulfils the demand for empirical data that new and existing players need to develop their business plans using robust scientific information.

The findings show that out of the 85 percent, who are interested, 59 percent were very interested and 26 percent were quite interested.

About 70 percent of them anticipate opening an Islamic savings account in the next 12 months with half (35 percent) expecting to do so within three months of it becoming available.

A total of 77 percent of consumers are expected to take out Islamic financing (loans) within the next one to two years.

It also found that currently 86 percent of consumers have some kind of conventional banking products , of which 60 percent declared to be  ‘bothered’ about using products that are based on Riba (interest). 

This further re-enforces the strong potential for retail Islamic Finance in Oman, inferring that a high proportion of customers engaging in financial activities are likely to switch to Shariah-compliant alternatives when they become available. 

Farrukh Raza, managing director, IFAAS, said: “The findings from ‘Islamic Finance in Oman – Sizing the retail market' demonstrate that the growth from Islamic Finance has the potential to be bigger than currently expected.  The challenge for decision makers is to ensure that their early critical decisions are based on accurate market information to ensure long term success.”

“This is the first independent specialised report available on Islamic Finance in the Omani market.  It is helping businesses to plan their resources, design their communications and understand what is required to retain or increase their market share in this dynamic market,” Raza said. 

To prepare the report IFAAS developed a quantitative survey which was conducted by independent researchers in form of random face-to-face street interviews across the Sultanate. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Oman | Muscat | banking | Islamic Finance | Survey | interest |

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