The main challenge faced by the Islamic banking in the Sultanate today is building up solid knowledge and experience among bankers about Islamic finance while keeping pace with the demand in the market. "Recruiting potential front-runners in this area and providing the right knowledge dosage at the right time is key success element. Retention is always a challenge in the banking sector and it is rather more intense towards persons who already started working within Sharia-compliant products and practiced Islamic banking", said Mohammed al Balushi, Chief Human Resources Officer at alizz Islamic bank.
Alizz islamic bank has begun its local community engagement in Dakhliyah governorate with generous support towards Al Noor Association in Burkat al Mooz. Salaam bin Said al Shaksy, chief executive officer of alizz islamic bank and other senior executives from the bank planned a surprise visit to the association after the successful launch of alizz islamic bank’s official launch of Nizwa Branch in Firq. The association serves the interest of blind and visually impaired in social, economic, welfare, education, health, training, placement and teaching of brail. The centre in Burkat al Mooz represents interests of the blind covering the Dakhliyah region.
As the bank will be soon marking its first year of operations, Alizz Islamic Bank's performance has been in line that of other Islamic banks operating in Oman. Alizz Islamic Bank last week signed an MoU with Pride Home and Max Electronics (Home Centre & Emax) for personal asset finance (goods murabaha) services. As a result of this MoU, Alizz Islamic Bank will be a preferred Islamic banking financier for personal asset finance, encompassing both home furniture buyers and electronic retail and corporate buyers. All account holders will be entitled to home finance at Home Centre and Emax at an interest rate of 5.25 per cent, on purchase of good worth over RO 1,000. Besides, the bank also plans to have agreements with hospitals and travel agencies and this is the first step in this direction.
The Board of Directors of Alizz Islamic Bank has announced the appointment of Salaam Said al Shaksy as the Chief Executive Officer of the bank. Al Shaksy comes with over 22 years’ experience in retail as well as wholesale banking. He previously held the position of CEO in several local and international banks and financial institutions such as National Bank of Oman, Dubai Bank and Dubai Islamic Investment Group. Currently, Al Shaksy is Chairman of Oman’s Investment Stabilization Fund. He is also a member of the Board of Directors; member of the Board of Executive Committee and Chairman of the Tender Committee of Al Rafd Fund (Oman’s Government funded SME fund); and a Board Member of the College of Banking and Financial Studies set up and supervised by the Central Bank of Oman.
Jamal Darwiche, acting CEO of alizz islamic bank, has resigned from his position for personal reasons. The bank said that the board is engaged in filling this role permanently, but added that Saif al Yarubi will take on this responsibility during the interim period. Before joining alizz islamic bank in July 2012, Darwiche held the position of chief operating officer and general manager of retail banking at Masraf Al Rayan Bank in Qatar. Saif al Yarubi was appointed as chief financial officer at alizz islamic bank in September 2013. He joined alizz islamic bank after serving five years as finance director at Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD).
Oman's Alizz Islamic bank has announced the completion of its comprehensive training plan, as part of preparations for to launch operations in the fourth quarter of the year. The training programme introduced branch, call centre and operational staff to the Shari'ah-compliant lender's full range of Islamic products and services and its corporate values.
Omani lender Alizz Islamic Bank, the second full-fledged Islamic bank in the sultanate, plans to begin operations in the third quarter of this year, according to its chief operating officer Jamal Darwiche. Last October, the bank raised OMR40 million ($104 million) by selling 40 per cent of its capital through a month-long initial public offer of shares. It is targeting a 3.5 per cent share of financing and a 3.6 per cent share of deposits in Oman’s banking sector by 2017. Moreover, it aims for annual growth in total assets, financing and deposits of 15-20 per cent, and to build a customer base of between 65,000 and 100,000 accounts over five years.
Bank Nizwa has given a request to deploy their funds abroad to Oman's central bank for consideration. Thus, Bank Nizwa will be able to get returns instead of keeping the money idle until the bank starts operation. The capital base of Bank Nizwa is OR150m, compared to that Alizz Islamic Bank's paid up capital is as high as OR100m.
Fitch Rating Agency warns about Sharia-complained banks as they do not complete with established conventional banks offering Islamic-compliant products. This is especially the case in Oman who's banking market hasn't been opened yet.
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.