May 01 2011
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Rising demand for Islamic finance courses in Oman
With the market predicted to be worth thousands of billions of dollars worldwide by the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), interest in the industry has grown in the sultanate, according to ACCA as well as the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), which puts the current value of the industry at US$20bn.
Geetu Ahuja, Middle East regional manager for CIMA, said that its course in Islamic finance, recently launched in Oman, is already proving popular with students in the sultanate.
"Islamic finance is picking up in Oman. We have started seeing quite a bit of a movement. We introduced this course last year and we are pleased with the numbers that we are seeing in Oman."
Mohammed Sajid Khan, country manager for ACCA, added that there has been growing interest in the Islamic finance sections of the organisation's training courses - covered in its financial management qualification. "There has been demand. I think people want to have more options of banking. There is much scope for this sector as well."
As a result of its growing popularity, ACCA will be holding a round table discussion, with big four accountancy firm KPMG and other experts in Dubai on May 5, on how the financial reporting of Islamic finance can be made more consistent internationally.
KPMG audit director and Islamic finance specialist Samer Hijazi said that with its growing popularity there will also be a growing need for the industry to further align itself with standardised financial procedures.
He said, "As the Islamic finance sector matures and becomes increasingly mainstream, greater harmonisation of practices and more transparency of institutions that sell Shariah- compliant products will become critical."
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