Nizwa to set high Shariah standards
Muscat, April 1, 2014
Bank Nizwa, Oman's first Islamic bank, aims to reach far beyond the boundaries of conventional banking and set new standards in Islamic finance sector, said its top official.
Addressing the shareholders of Bank Nizwa, chairman Ahmed Al Busaidi said: "Since our establishment as Oman’s first Islamic bank, we have made history and we have entered 2014 in a very strong position. Now is the time to focus on enhancing our balance sheet to achieve sustainable profitability."
Shareholders gathered to take an in-depth look at the progress which Bank Nizwa has made since opening its doors, said the newly-formed Omani bank in its statement.
They were reminded of a year that has been characterized by important steps such as generating awareness of Shari’a compliant banking and finance in the Sultanate, the expanding of the banks network across Oman to reach seven branches and the development of an innovative portfolio of Islamic products and services including savings & current accounts, home finance, personal finance, auto finance and investment banking, it added.
Al Busaidi pointed out that the bank was in a very strong place with Islamic deposits growing consistently with market growth.
"Total assets for the bank as of December 31, 2013 stood at RO195.9 million ($508 million) of which 16 per cent was directly financing retail and corporate customers," he added.
Al Busaidi said despite posting an operating loss, Bank Nizwa was ahead on its budgetary forecasts due to a stringent management of costs.
"In the past year we have taken the lead in being the Islamic bank that is breaking boundaries and heading the charge for successful Islamic banking across Oman. We can confidently say that Bank Nizwa is going from strength to strength," he added.-TradeArabia News Service