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Omani Islamic banks to float by June
Bank Nizwa, Al Izz to IPO by June, according to central bank sources, with Oman Arab Bank likely to lead the offering.
January 23, 2012 2:07 by Reuters
Oman’s two Islamic banks will float 40 percent of their shares by June, the sultanate’s central bank Executive President Hamood Sangour al-Zadjali said on Monday.
“Bank Nizwa will issue an initial public offering of 40 percent of its capital of 150 million rials ($389.61 million), while Al Izz International Bank will issue 40 percent of its 100 million rials capital by June this year,” Zadjali told reporters on the sidelines of an Islamic finance conference.
Both banks, which are currently under formation, were awarded sharia-compliant banking licences last year – Bank Nizwa in May and Al Izz in August – after the sultanate reversed its position as the only Gulf Arab state which did not allow banks to specifically offer products and services complying with Islamic law.
Bank Nizwa has picked Oman Arab Bank as the issue manager for its IPO, an Omani banking source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is not public.
Al Izz has not mandated anyone to lead its offering, the source added.
Conventional lenders are also allowed to establish Islamic banking windows in the non-OPEC oil producer.
Both Bank Muscat and National Bank of Oman have said they would do so, while Standard Chartered is considering whether to offer sharia-compliant services. ($1 = 0.3850 Omani rials) (Reporting by Saleh Al-Shaibany; Writing by Martin Dokoupil,; Editing by David French)