Markets watch: new Oman banks flex muscles

After Oman allowed sharia-compliant lending last year, new Islamic banks are bolstering their balance sheets in order to challenge the sultanate's larger conventional lenders. Al Izz Islamic bank recently enabled subscription for its initial public offering of 40 per cent of the lender and reports strong interest. In addition, in June 2012 Bank Nizwa attracted 681m rials ($1.77bn) of bids in a successful share sale, which exceeds the necessary amount 11 times. However, competition is not to be underestimated.

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