Omani French Friendship Association hosts conference on Islamic Finance

The Omani French Friendship Association organised a conference on Islamic Finance at Fraser Suites Muscat on Wednesday under the auspices of Dr Qais bin Issa al Yahyaei, Executive Vice President of Central Bank Of Oman.
In his keynote address, Dr Al Yahyaei recalled the historic relationship between France and Oman dating back to the late 17th century when merchant ships from France docked in Muscat’s waters. He also outlined the growth of the global Islamic economy and shared his views on Islamic finance, the Islamic capital market and Takaful sectors.
The conference featured three panel discussions focusing on different aspects of Islamic banking and finance and their relevance to the Omani economy. Taking part in the first discussion, Saud al Busaidi, Manager Islamic Banking Department, CBO, joined Khalid al Kayed, CEO, Bank Nizwa, and Shamzani Hussain, GM Meethaq Islamic Banking, in deliberating on the challenges facing the industry. The discussion was moderated by Dr Nasser al Maawali, Dean, College of Banking and Financial Studies.
In the second session, Kemal Rizadi Arbi, Expert/Advisor at the Capital Market Authority (CMA) Oman, joined Tariq Khan, Islamic Wholesale Banking Products, Meethaq Islamic Banking, in a ‘fire-side’ type conversation on the outlook for Islamic capital markets in Oman.
The discussion shed light on the development of the Islamic capital market and the fundraising landscape over the last six years since Islamic finance was first introduced in Oman in 2013. Kemal outlined initiatives planned by the CMA for implementation in developing the Islamic capital market in Oman and answered a number of audience queries as well.
Participating in the third session were Fahd al Ismaili, CEO-Tibiaan Properties; Dr Halima al Hinai, Senior Consultant – Public Health, Director of Health Investment and Financing Alternatives at the Ministry of Health; Mohsin Shaik, Senior Executive Manager Investment Banking & Capital Markets, Maisarah – Bank Dhofar; and Asaad Hilal al Kharusi, Head Islamic Retail & Wealth Management Products, Meethaq Islamic Banking, who shared their thoughts on the importance of Awqaf in the Omani Islamic economy. They discussed efforts by the Ministry of Awqaf to institutionalise Awqaf in the Sultanate.
The Conference was organised with the support of Sulaiman al Harthy, Group Chief Personal Banking Officer Personal Banking of Bank Muscat and his colleagues from Meethaq. French Ambassador Renaud Salins was also present at the opening.
The Omani French Friendship Association (OFA), a non-profit organisation registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is chaired by Shaikha Hind Bahwan and fully supported by the French Embassy. It aims to strengthen the bilateral relations between Oman and France through the organisation of monthly events.