Muscat: The issuance of the Securities Law under Royal Decree No. 46/2022 comes within the framework of moving forward with the regulatory level of the securities industry in Oman to levels that keep pace with the current and future requirements in light of the technological revolution, and the legal actions required to regulate the financial technology and create a legal infrastructure for innovative financing instruments, said Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Salmi, the Executive President of the Capital Market Authority (CMA).
He said that the law was enacted to primarily protect the consumers in the Omani capital market and to ensure furnishing a financing environment with multiple options and a high ability to attract local and foreign capital by enhancing the public’s confidence by providing a fair investment environment based on integrity and transparency, and a market with requirements that provide adequate protection for the owners of capital.
Al Salmi said that the issuance of a new securities law contributes to achieving the strategic priorities of Oman Vision 2040, which is to support the initiatives that contribute to economic diversification and ensure financial sustainability, as well as supporting the private sector, investment and international cooperation, in addition to providing a competitive and investment-attractive business environment in which the government exercises the regulatory role associated with successful administrative efficiency, in addition to transparency and firm institutional disclosure that guarantees the right of access to information, and the articles of the law came to translate the strategy set by the CMA to enhance the performance of the capital market sector to act as an engine of economic development.
On the key features of the law, he said that the new Securities Law contributes to creating an independent law regulating the securities industry in the Sultanate of Oman in line with the requirements of the current and future development stage, as it is flexible enough to define the general principles and leaves the details for the decisions and the
regulations to be issued by the CMA successively and within a year from the effective date of the law, which is the day following the date of publication, and the law confers on the CMA adequate powers to better regulate and develop the sector to achieve the desired objects and aspirations.
Al Salmi added that the law keeps pace with the developments brought about by the technological revolution, as it provides s a legal framework related to regulating the requirements of Fintech, which contributes to providing financial support to economic sectors using innovative financial solutions, as the law confers on the CMA the power to regulate innovative financing and approval of the application of technology and virtual investments. The law also allows expanding financing options by regulating new products and services such as warehouse receipts, derivatives, futures etc.
He pointed out that the Securities Law supports special programmes and initiatives to finance small and medium enterprises, given the economic importance of this type of enterprise, whose financing needs are special, which addresses one of the most important challenges facing entrepreneurs the owners of small and medium enterprises.
He explained that the law created the necessary legislative infrastructure to ensure the independence of the Muscat Stock Exchange from the CMA as a self-regulated institution, and allowed the stock exchange to regulate brokerage activities, market making and margin financing. The law also conferred on the CMA the authority to license the establishment of a stock exchange for small and medium enterprises.
The articles of the law also focus on achieving the principle of fairness and protection for the participants in the capital market in the Sultanate of Oman by putting in place many global practices, including those issued by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). The law also provided the necessary legislative cover to address the shortcomings in the rating report prepared by Thomas Moore on Muscat Clearing and Depository Company, which will enhance the rating of the company to higher levels that will enhance its position among its peers.