Oman’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) has given provisional approval for two new sukuk issuances of an aggregate size of RO 300 million (around $780 million). CMA President Abdullah bin Salim al Salmi said the proposed issuances underscore the potential and appetite for sharia-compliant finance and investment in the Sultanate. He noted that as of end-June 2016, the value of the sharia-compliant capital market jumped to RO 3.91 billion ($10.16 billion), comprising sharia-compliant shares, investments and sukuk, versus RO 3.24 billion ($8.42 billion) a year earlier, representing an increase of 21.14%. Significant growth has also been witnessed in the Takaful market with premiums reaching RO 41.99 million as of end-2016, up from RO 38.77 million a year earlier, representing an increase of 9.2%.
The Sukuk Conference organized by the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) in collaboration with the World Bank will be held on Dec. 6, 2016. Government officials and representatives from the World Bank and the private sector will participate in the conference. The conference sessions will include topics such as: elements of sukuk markets, dynamics of sukuk markets, establishment of an effective environment for sukuk market, regulatory issues in the sukuk market and the role of debt markets in economic growth. The CMA aims to encourage the issuance of debt instruments and also to promote the economic development of the Kingdom within the 2030 Vision.
Recent regulations on sukuk are helping growth in Oman's Islamic banking sector, with sharia-compliant lenders gaining ground. Growth of Islamic banking is far outstripping that of the conventional banking segment with Islamic banking assets up more than 62% year-on-year (y-o-y) at the end of March. In contrast with the performance of the Islamic segment of the market, assets of conventional commercial banks rose by 9.1% y-o-y to the end of March to OR28.6bn ($74.3bn). The new regulations released by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) in April clarify requirements for issuing sukuk and provide a legal framework. According to Sheikh Abdullah bin Al Salmi, executive president of the CMA, the new regulations are expected to expand the range of investment instruments available in the sector.
After the publication of Oman's new Sukuk Regulations on 5 April 2016 new listing categories have been introduced on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM). The Capital Market Authority (CMA) introduces a new "Bond and Sukuk Market" on the MSM. The CMA intends to have existing and future bonds and Sukuks listed on the MSM to be placed into this new category. A number of other new categories also being introduced, such as "Under Monitoring Market" and a "Rights Issue Market".
Omani real estate firm Tilal Development Company has persistently been asking the Capital Market Authority (CMA) for approval to raise funds by issuing a sukuk. According to Abdullah bin Salem Al Salmi - executive president of CMA - as soon as Tilal are ready with a plan, CMA are ready to grant them approval for raising money by means of sukuk. Currently, the next step is for Tilal to submit a formal application for the issue. CMA are encouraging companies to float sukuk issues. The only thing necessary for bringing regulation for sukuk is a minor amendment in the Capital Market Law.
Tilal Development Company turns to Capital Market Authority (CMA) for raising funds by the country's first sukuk issue. According to Abdullah bin Salem Al Salmi, executive president of CMA, they are ready to grant Tilal their approval as soon as the latter are ready with a plan. Al Salmi further added that Islamic financial instruments like sukuk are necessary for Islamic banks in order to invest their deposits. A lack of Islamic debt instruments could result in a deposit growth much higher than the anticipated growth in terms of assets which would make deposit investment very difficult.
The move to stipulate a minimum RO10 million capital for takaful firms aroused serious concern among Oman insurance companies. Reason therefore is that such a move will most probably pose a major entry barrier for local companies. That is why insurance companies prefer window operations in takaful business like the proposed regulation in banking sector. The proposal by Capital Market Authority (CMA) concerns a minimum envisaged capital of RO10 million and a three-member board for standalone companies for Sharia-compliant takaful insurance business. Feedback from insurance companies is expected within two week's tima.
After Capital Market Authority (CMA) has approved of the prospectus for Alizz islamic bank's shares offering, the bank has set the launch date of its initial public offering (IPO) on September 22. The IPO consists of 400mn shares. Expextations are that the bank will draw unbanked sections of the population into the market and that by 2015 Islamic banking assets in the country will exceed RO2bn.
Capital Market Authority (CMA) of Saudi Arabia issued a strongly worded warning towards companies that operate without a license, thus surprising many people in the Gulf region. In the warning notice CMA states that non-licensed operations will be sanctioned since they are considered violating the relevant provisions of the capital market law and its implementing regulations. The problem that rises from this warning is obtaining a licence to operate in Saudi Arabia. For this purpose, an office and a minimum number of staff are required.
UK-based law consultancy company Clifford Chance has prepared and handed over the draft law for forming Sharia-compliant takaful insurance firms and sukuk debt instruments. While a new set of law will serve as the rules takaful insurance companies, amendments will be made in Capital Market Law to accommodate Islamic debt instruments like sukuks. The final draft is expexted to be finished in about a month's time.
Oman’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) has disclosed to The Times of Oman that it will favour standalone Takaful companies, which is against the window operations proposed for conventional banks.
Abdullah bin Salem al Salmi, Acting Executive President of Capital Market Authority, noted that the minimum capital for promoting a Takaful insurance company is anticipated at OMR 10 million.
Moreover, a conventional insurance company planning to enter a Takaful business must search a separate licence and form a separate company.
Saudi Arabia's central bank will have a bigger role in the supervision of the country's financial sector as the kingdom weighs opening up its stock market to direct investments by foreigners.
The country's Capital Market Authority (CMA) signed a cooperation agreement with the central bank or Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) to coordinate supervision of the financial sector in order to improve its stability.
According to the agreement, the two entities will work together in the supervision of corporate governance, risk management measures, initial public offerings (IPOs), sukuk issuance and merger and acquisition regulations as well as the exchange of information.
Capital Market Authority (CMA) is developing a separate set of regulations for Sharia-compliant takaful insurance and Sukuk debt instruments.
Abdulla bin Salem Al Salmi, Acting Executive President of CMA, stated that the new regulations will be ready by the first quarter of next year. CBO, together with Ernst & Young, is currently defining a set of regulation, for Islamic banks.
Sabic intends to purchase the assets of its first Sukuk amounting to SR3bn which was launched in July 2006. The Capital Market Authority (CMA) announced on June 12, 2011 its approval for Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) to issue its debut Mudaraba Sukuk.