Towards the end of this month Bank Muscat is expected to raise OMR23-30 million, which is the first tranche of Meethaq’s OMR100 million-sukuk programme. Meethaq is Bank Muscat’s pioneer Islamic banking window in Oman. The bank has already received an initial approval from stock market regulator Capital Market Authority (CMA). Bank Muscat's Deputy CEO Sulaiman Al Harthy said the sukuk programme starts with a small amount, maybe OMR25-30 million to test the market and see the market appetite. Al Harthy also noted that this year, Islamic financial institutions are expected to grow at a similar rate as seen last year. Meethaq Islamic financing receivables rose to OMR855 million by end-December 2016, compared to OMR635 million in the same period in 2015.
Bank Muscat, Oman's largest lender, has delayed plans to launch a 500 million rial ($1.3 billion) sukuk programme after the central bank rejected the proposal, a source at the bank said. The regulator informed Bank Muscat in writing that it would not accept the plans in their current form, which involved the lender asking for a single approval to issue 100 million rials a year for the next five years, the source said, adding that the central bank had concerns over plans to use the sukuk proceeds to increase personal lending. The bank will restructure the sukuk proposal and file for the approval again. The plans for the sukuk to be issued in various tranches was backed by Bank Muscat's shareholders in March.
Bank Muscat's shareholders have approved the Board's recommendation for the setting up of a RO 500 million (or its equivalent in US Dollar currency) Meethaq Sukuk Programme for the issuance of sukuk in various tranches in the domestic and international markets through public subscription or private placement. The Sukuk tranches under the Meethaq Sukuk Programme will be in different amounts, maturities, and profit rates, issued on different dates with varying terms and conditions of subscription. All Sukuk will be issued within five years. Approval was also given to the Board's recommendations to issue convertible bonds.
BMI Bank , the Bahrain based associate of Bank Muscat , has announced that they have agreed in principle in favour of a merger with Al Salam Bank, an Islamic Bank incorporated in Bahrain. The completion of the transaction, including final share-swap ratio, is subject to satisfactory due-diligence as well as regulatory and shareholder approvals, Bank Muscat said in posting on the website of the Muscat Securities Market. Bank Muscat has a shareholding of 49 per cent in BMI bank.
The Sharia Supervisory Board of Meethaq conducted its first meeting of 2013 under the chairmanship of Shaikh Dr Ali Qaradaghi. The board inducted two new members — Abdulqader Thomas and Dr Saeed al Muharrami. The two experts in the field of Islamic banking will serve as non-Shari’a members and assist the Shari’a voting members, providing insights on various Islamic banking issues. The board reviewed Meethaq activities during 2012 and discussed the strategy for the coming period.
Bank Muscat together with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) were hosts of a workshop on January 15th. The topic of the workshop was Environmental and Social Risk Analysis (ESRA). The event was held under the auspices of Sheikh Mohammed bin Said Al Kalbani, minister of Social Development. The goal of the two-day event at the headquarters of the bank is to identify environmental and social risks in lending and investment projects as a consequence of the activities of the financial and banking sector. Among the participants there were risk managers and analysts from banks, CSR and sustainability professionals, government representatives and consultants.
Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has given its final approval to the Islamic banking arm of Bank Muscat - Meethaq - to start full-fledged operations. The starting date of the bank's operations is January 21st. Meethaq will begin functioning as a bank with 150-million-rial capital at its disposal. The money is intended to be used to boost growth opportunities. A full suite of regulated Islamic banking products will be offered.