Muscat: Omani business group – Golden Group – plans to tap the market with a OMR200 million sukuk, or Islamic bond programme, according to a top-level official at the Capital Market Authority.
The Golden Group, which has interests in diverse sectors, including construction, real estate, hotels, furniture, travel and tourism and logistics, has submitted the issue prospectus with the market regulator.
Also, the company has hired Maisarah Islamic Banking Service (the Islamic window of Bank Dhofar) to coordinate the transaction, said Sheikh Abdullah bin Salim Al Salmi, executive president of the Capital Market Authority (CMA).
In fact, the market regulator has given its initial approval for OMR300 million in sukuk programmes – which are for Bank Muscat’s Meetaqh and Golden Group.
Since Islamic institutions and instruments can only fund Sharia-compliant ventures, the corpus from these Islamic bond issues will assist the industry. Also, these issues will help to build benchmark yield curves.
“Islamic finance is picking up quite well. I see a quite a good potential for Sharia compliant products,” added Sheikh Al Salmi.
Sheikh Al Salmi last week said that the Sharia-compliant capital market product value is estimated at OMR3.91 billion by the end of June 2016, which represents 22.64 per cent of the total capital market value issued in Oman.
The market share of Islamic banks and window operations of conventional banks in Oman touched 10.3 per cent, in terms of assets, 10.9 per cent in terms of finance and 10.6 per cent in customer deposits. These achievements were made in the short span of four years.
In fact, total assets of Islamic banks rose by 36.65 per cent to OMR3 billion by the end of December 2016, from OMR2 billion for the same period of 2015. Similarly, financing by Islamic institutions surged ahead by 36.1 per cent to OMR2.4 billion by December-end, 2016, from OMR1.7 billion for the same period in 2015. Also, customer deposits increased by 40.9 per cent to OMR2.1 billion, from OMR1.5 billion during the period under review.