Muscat: Citizens and residents in Oman are set to benefit from Ahlibank’s plan to expand its Islamic banking services in Oman with the launch of the new brand identity, Ahli Islamic.
Ahlibank’s CEO Said Abdullah Al Hatmi said, “We have had good success and are now planning the second phase of the window, which is to grow and expand. Soon, there will be new branches and services provided by Ahli Islamic.”
Regarding the reason for the success of Ahli Islamic, Al Hatmi exclusively said to Times of Oman, “Islamic banking is not just about providing a good service and product, it’s also about building a trust within these services and our customer. Full compliance with Sharia principle was the key element we have taken from day one. Therefore, All we do in our Islamic banking is in full compliance with the Sharia principle and the guidelines of the central bank in this regard.”
According to a spokesperson for Ahlibank, “At the end of 2018, AlAhli Islamic’s net profit increased by 14.22 per cent, reaching OMR5.6 million compared to OMR4.9 million at the end of 2017. Its Islamic banking began in 2013 with 5 branches in Oman. By 2017, it had 8 branches and there are to open more branches in Oman this year,” the spokesperson added.
Ahlibank rebranded its Islamic banking window Al Hilal Islamic Banking to ‘Ahli Islamic’ at a ceremony held under the auspices of Tahir bin Salim bin Abdullah Al Amri, Executive President, Central Bank of Oman, at Crowne Plaza, Qurum on May 1, 2019.
During the event, Al Hatmi said, “Building on the impressive performance since its inception in 2013, the values of transparency and truthfulness it espouses and considering the better prospects of Islamic banking industry in Oman which is expected to grow consistently, Ahlibank’s Islamic banking window is launching on a transformative journey with a new brand identity. The vision behind the new brand is to become a leading Omani service provider, abiding by the ethics and values of Islamic finance, and helping customers, communities and people to prosper and grow.”
“It’s the right time for the bank to embark upon this journey with a fresh vision that will better enable us to grow whilst delivering a vital contribution to the national economy. Today marks the first steps we take into this new direction,” he added.
According to a statement by the bank, "Ahlibank’s Islamic banking window has shown positive growth consistently and continues to focus on innovative products and services, in order to increase its foothold and market presence."
"The Islamic banking window caters to all customer segments, including institutional, corporate, SME and retail, through its eight dedicated branches across the length and breadth of the sultanate. Increased geographical coverage along with full suite of products offering will help the Islamic banking window to meet its customers’ need," the statement said.
There are still untapped markets which give room for the Islamic banking growth, especially in interior towns where customers show a keen interest towards sharia-compliant products," the statement added.