Oman Tribune

MSM okays 35 Sharia compliant firms

Muscat Securities Market (MSM) adopted a list of Sharia compliant companies for the second quarter of 2017. The list of companies includes 35 public shareholding companies: Al Saffa Food, Al Anwar Ceramic Tiles, Al Izz Islamic Bank, Al Jazeera Services, Al Kamil Power, Al Madina Takaful, Al Maha Ceramics, Bank Nizwa, Computer Stationery Industry, Dhofar Beverages and Food Stuff, Gulf International Chemicals, Gulf Mushrooms Products, Gulf Quarries, Majan Glass, Muscat Gases, Muscat Thread Mills, National Biscuit Industries, National Real Estate Development, Oman Cables Industry, Oman Cement, Oman Fisheries, Oman Flour Mills, Oman International Marketing, Oman Packaging, Oman Refreshments, Omani Telecommunications, Ooredoo, Port Services Corporation, Raysut Cement, Salalah Port Services, Shell Oman Marketing, Takaful Oman Insurance, United Power, and Voltamp Energy. The list is reviewed every three months by adding standards-compliant companies and eliminating those that lost their eligibility.

New MSM Sharia Index to come into effect today

The new sample of the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) Sharia Compliant Index, which includes 32 MSM listed companies, will start operations on Sunday. MSM will revise the sample each three months to include companies that are compliant with regulations and exclude companies that are not compliant. Analysts said that the Islamic indicators will attract new category of investors as they meet the needs of investors who prefer to have reliable reference that help them in identifying the investments that meet the requirements of the Islamic Sharia. This in turn will contribute to the development and growth of the Islamic finance market.

‘Independent entity needed to oversee Sharia-based products’

An independent legal entity should oversee the way in which Islamic financial institutions certify they are following Sharia principles, Kuwait’s central bank governor Mohammad Al Hashel has said. Currently, boards of Sharia scholars at financial institutions rule on whether activities and products follow religious principles and they are also involved in audits. At the same time, the scholars are on the payroll of the Islamic banks which they vet, an arrangement contrary to good governance. The growing role of Islamic finance in some national economies is now prompting government watchdogs to pay more attention to the sector. Clear and specific professional frameworks for the duties and responsibilities of Sharia authorities and their audit function are needed.

Meethaq to begin operations on Jan. 21

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.

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