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The pandemic has provided a moment of reflection in which more care and attention is being paid to how the global economy functions. For a country that thrives on new ideas and innovation, Oman is busy engaging with fresh ways to grow sustainably its economy. And across the world the Islamic economy is growing. Over 2019, there were €2.4 trillion invested in Islamic finance assets. 1.9 billion Muslims around the world spent €1,7 trillion across the Islamic economy. Halal food, fashion and recreation being the top three drivers.
Oman's Islamic banking sector growth is likely to continue apace in 2021-2022 following strong momentum in 2020 despite the pandemic and lower oil prices. Islamic financing in Oman grew by 9.5% in 2020. This was driven by demand for Islamic products, support from conventional banks offering Islamic products through their Islamic windows, and regulations supportive of Islamic finance.
The sector's growth potential is high given Oman's Muslim-majority demographics. Challenges for the sector include limited short-term sharia-compliant investment options to place excess liquidity, a relatively low capital base and low customer awareness of Islamic products.
With representatives from the leading players, including Bank Nizwa, The Firm for Business and Economic Consulting and National Finance, The Business Year brings this digital roundtable to discuss the current state of play and the future potential of Oman's Islamic Banking Sector.
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HH Al Sayyid Dr Adham bin Turki Al Said is the Chairman Board of Trustees, Scientific College of Design and Muscat College; CEO and Co-Founder, The Firm for Business and Economic Consulting; Chairman of the Competition Protection and Monopoly Prevention Centre; and Shariah Supervisory Board Member (non-voting) Muzn Islamic Banking NBO.
A financial industry veteran with over 27 years under his belt, Khalid Jamal Al Kayed has been associated with Bank Nizwa since its inception. Prior to joining the Bank, Al Kayed held various posts in a host of well-respected financial institutions including as deputy chief executive officer & chief financial officer at Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank and chief financial officer at Standard Chartered Bank Jordan. His expertise ranges from banking management, financial control, accounting, risk management, and asset liability, among other fields. Al Kayed holds a master's in international accounting and finance from Liverpool University. He is also an alumnus of Columbia Business School, from where he has completed an executive management program. In addition to this, he is a certified management accountant and certified financial manager from the Institute of Management Accountants.
Tariq Al Farsi is an experienced finance professional with more than 19 years of success in personal, commercial, and investment banking. Previously the CEO of Al Raffd Fund, Al Farsi also served as a board member for the Public Authority for SME Development. He obtained his bachelor's degree in business administration and hotel studies from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport in Egypt and holds numerous certificates in finance and accounting.
Benjamin MacShane is country editor for The Business Year. He has a worked on producing business reports, market analyses and conducted interviews with business leaders across South America and the Middle East. He joined in 2019 having previously worked for a management consultancy, Beyond Reform and Development, based in Beirut. He has written articles for the online magazine, The Globalist, on democracy promotion and conflict resolution. Benjamin graduated from Edinburgh University and SOAS in London University.