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First global crowdfunding platform receives CMA nod to operate in Oman

Shaikh Abdullah Salem al Salmi (pictured), Executive President – Capital Market Authority (CMA), approved on Thursday the licensing of the first global crowdfunding platform operator, Ethis Investment Platform LLC, to be established in the Sultanate of Oman. Ethis Investment is also the first Islamic global crowdfunding platform to set up operations in Oman.

Shaikh Abdullah Salem al Salmi
Shaikh Abdullah Salem al Salmi

The Authority’s nod is the first since the issuance of new Rules on Crowdfunding Platforms published on November 21, 2021. Since then, the CMA had attracted overwhelming interest from both international and local crowdfunding fintech players, as the new regulation had been made very facilitative and allows cross-border investments.

With the new regulation, the CMA will be regulating all crowdfunding activities for companies in Oman, including donation-based, rewards-based, equity-based and Peer-To-Peer (P2P) financing.

The crowdfunding platform initiative by the CMA aims to provide an alternative financing platform for companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to raise funding directly from global and local investors without going through a financial institution intermediary, while enhancing financial inclusion by providing an easier financial access to all segments of society.

In addition, it is in line with Oman’s Vision 2040 as an enabler to develop and diversify the economy, and attracting foreign investors into the Sultanate of Oman. This represents another major milestone for the CMA in developing the capital market and fintech area for the financial industry in Oman, as crowdfunding is driven by fintech which includes the usage of blockchain technology. It is also another milestone in the development of Islamic finance in the Sultanate of Oman -- since a key component of Shariah-based financing is enhancing financial inclusion to the society.

The Ethis crowdfunding platform will be operated by Ethis Global Group through Ethis Investment Platform LLC in Oman and will be offering both equity and P2P financing crowdfunding platforms. The Ethis group has an equity crowdfunding platform licensed in Malaysia and a P2P financing crowdfunding platform licensed in Indonesia. Both are regulated by the respective securities regulator there. In addition, they have a donation-based global crowdfunding platform.

The CMA is also expecting to have a few more crowdfunding platform operators, both conventional and Islamic, to be established and licensed in the Sultanate of Oman soon.

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