National Bank of Oman, the first local bank and one of the leading banks in the Sultanate of Oman, and QInvest, Qatar’s leading investment bank and one of the most prominent Islamic financial institutions in the world, organized a Sukuk Seminar on January26, 2014 at Grand Hyatt, Muscat. The seminar was organized under the auspices of His Excellency Abdullah bin Salim Al Salmi, Executive President of the Oman Capital Market Authority and was well attended by representatives from the Oman Capital Market Authority, Central Bank of Oman, the Oman Ministry of Finance, Pension Funds and leading corporates of Oman.
National Bank of Oman and QInvest provided the audience with insightful perspectives into the Sukuk market and its growing importance to issuers as well as investors in today’s environment of increased awareness and understanding of Islamic finance. The seminar covered subjects related to the growth and evolution of the global Sukuk market, Sukuk structuring and regulation, and the use of Sukuk by a diverse group of issuers as an alternative mode of financing. In addition, the seminar covered the investor and demand dynamics of some of the recent successful Sukuk transactions from the region.
Speaking on the occasion, Sayyid Wasfi Jamshid Al Said, Deputy General Manager of National Bank of Oman commented: “National Bank of Oman and QInvest are committed to supporting local entities by providing advisory and other solutions in relation to Sukuk issuance. There is inherent demand for Sukuk in Oman and issuers will find this space competitive compared to conventional bonds. Organisations that have up to now relied solely on traditional bank loans and conventional bonds will find that the Sukuk markets offer a compelling way to diversify their sources of financing in order to ensure the cost efficiency and sustainability of their operations under various market conditions.”
Mr. Hani Ibrahim, Head of Debt Capital Markets at QInvest said: “QInvest is proud to partner with National Bank of Oman. We believe that this partnership will facilitate the increased awareness of Sukuk as a financial instrument to the Omani issuer and investor base. The combination of National Bank of Oman’s entrenched local presence and QInvest’s strong expertise in Sukuk positions use at the forefront of the growth of Sukuk issuance in Oman”
The government of Oman has recently announced plans to issue an OMR 200 million sovereign Sukuk on the domestic market in 2014. The Capital Market Authority, Oman, had issued Draft Sukuk Regulations last year to promote the issuance of Sukuks in the Sultanate. The issuance of Sukuk would provide Sharia’ compliant investment opportunities to local investors while attracting foreign investors seeking opportunities in Oman.
The first ever Sukuk was issued by Shell MDS in Malaysia in 1990 and the first international sovereign Sukuk was issued in 2001 by the Government of Bahrain, and marked the advent of the GCC Islamic capital market.
The global Sukuk market has since grown, and marked a CAGR of 40.5% between 2008 and 2013, with new issuances of US$140.2bn and US$111.1bn in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The growth is expected to continue in 2014 and beyond. Several first-time issuers are likely to enter the Sukuk market in 2014.According to Thomson Reuters Zawya Sukuk Perceptions and Forecast Study 2014, Sukuk issuance would continue to rise rapidly in the coming years and is expected to reach US$ 237bn by 2018.
Head of Marketing, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations