Jun 11 2011
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Oman likely to benefit from Islamic wealth pool: Experts
Islamic finance may bring Oman substantial amounts of foreign direct investment (FDI), Islamic sukuk, project financing and infrastructure investment, according to bankers and industry experts.
According to consulting firm Ernst & Young's estimate, the size of the global Islamic fund industry is US$55bn whereas the potential Islamic wealth pool is around US$480bn at present. So there is a huge potential for Islamic investment in new markets like Oman.
"Oman would be a new investment destination for Islamic funds. Islamic funds are looking for Sharia-compliant assets and new markets to invest in. Once Oman introduces Islamic finance in the country, fund managers will also be looking at Oman for investment in the form of FDI, Islamic sukuk and other alternative investments.
Oman could tap a substantial part of Islamic wealth pool. There is a huge potential to attract foreign direct investment in form of Sharia-compliant investment in a new market."
Nazim said that Ernst & Young is committed to mobilising foreign investments to be invested in Oman's Islamic finance sector and investing resources to developing Islamic banking in the country.
Echoing Nazim's views, Lo'ai Badie Bataineh, head of investment management group at Oman Arab Bank, said, "Being a new market for Islamic finance, Oman definitely will attract external investors and Islamic funds who prefer sharia compliant investments.
If there would be a market for Islamic sukuk in Oman, foreign investors would invest in sukuks and in financing projects. I believe a market for Islamic sukuk would be created in Oman soon and blue chip firms may also raise money by issuing Islamic sukuk."
"We have been investing in Islamic sukuks in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. A lot of Omani companies and banks had invested outside the country in sharia compliant product, part of that investment might be bring back to Oman," Bataineh added.
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