Bank Muscat’s Islamic Unit Plans Maiden Sukuk In Q1 2015

The lender has received regulatory approval for the issue, which would help fund its expansion.



The Islamic unit of Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest lender, plans to tap the Islamic bond market in the first quarter of next year, in what would be the first sukuk sale by a bank in the country, a bank official said on Wednesday.

The lender has received regulatory approval for the issue, which would help fund its expansion, said Sulaiman Al Harthy, group general manager of Meethaq, Bank Muscat’s Islamic operation.

A size for the issue has yet to be determined, but it would fall under a OMR500 million ($1.3 billion) sukuk programme which the bank’s shareholders approved in March this year, Harthy told Reuters at an industry conference in Dubai.

Bank Muscat is one of several Omani conventional banks which offer Islamic finance through stand-alone units; two full-fledged Islamic banks started operations last year, Al Izz Islamic Bank and Bank Nizwa.