Mar 10 2012
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Bank Nizwa to launch in July
Speaking at the launch of the full-fledged Islamic bank's logo, Ahmed Saif al Rawahi, founding committee chairman, said that the bank will have an authorised capital of RO300mn, a paid-up capital of RO150mn and will offer RO60mn - or 40 per cent - through the IPO which is expected 'sometime in April.'
The bank will launch with three branches in Shatti al Qurm, Nizwa and Salalah, although there is a 'very ambitious programme' to open branches across the country immediately after the launch.
The founding committee of the bank is currently establishing its core banking platform, sourcing IT infrastructure and recruiting a senior management team, according to Rawahi.
"We have commissioned three companies. One will help us to headhunt a CEO, another is helping us recruit at the general manager-level and then we have a local company that does everything else."
Rawahi added that a market study, commissioned and carried out privately by the bank, has found 'a number of issues that have led us to feel there is a good market for Islamic banking.'
He said, "We found that nearly a third of Omanis prefer to stay away from conventional banks totally. The second point we found was that a lot of cash is lying in banks. About 30 per cent is lying in banks as interest-free deposits. If they had a choice, they would stay away from it."
The study also found that many Omanis also do their Islamic banking business in other countries, and that many take part in unregulated cash-sharing associations which can lead to legal issues if they grow too big.
The bank will also launch policies that 'will cover all the requirements of the market', according to Rawahi, but added that the policy launch 'will be in phases' and must be in accordance with three criteria of marketability, approval from the Sharia board and the CBO.
© Muscat Daily 2012
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