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Oman's Islamic Banking Growth to Continue Despite Pandemic

25 Mar 2021 | Thursday Source: Fitch Ratings

Oman's Islamic banking sector growth is likely to continue apace in 2021-2022 following strong momentum in 2020 despite the pandemic and lower oil prices, Fitch Ratings says. Islamic financing in Oman grew by 9.5% in 2020, compared with the conventional banks' loan growth of 2.1%. This was driven by demand for Islamic products, support from conventional banks offering Islamic products through their Islamic windows, and regulations supportive of Islamic finance.

The market share of Islamic banking and Islamic windows increased to 14.3% at end-2020 (end-2019: 13.6%), with total assets of OMR5.1 billion (USD13.5 billion). This is high considering that Oman was the last Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country to introduce Islamic banking in 2013. In contrast, Islamic banking has been present in Indonesia and Turkey for more than two decades but market shares there are below 8%.

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