Mutual Achievement Between Turkey And Oman

Bank Nizwa aims to expand further the footprint in Turkey and go beyond average, mainly contributing to the Fintech and Halal Economy Sector.

MAGAZINE 23.09.2021, 17:40
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Mutual Achievement Between Turkey And Oman

Bank Nizwa International Relations Manager Aiman Salih evaluated the journey of Oman's first Islamic bank, Bank Nizwa, and the potential for cooperation between Turkey and Oman for Katılım Finans.

As Oman's First Dedicated Islamic Bank, What Factors Distinguish Bank Nızwa From Other Banks?

Since its inception, Bank Nizwa has been committed to providing Sharia-compliant innovative financial solutions to offer customers a unique banking experience in line with their evolving needs. Being the first Islamic bank in Oman, Bank Nizwa has successfully pioneered change in the industry that is progressive and rooted in the foundations of Islam.

This is evident from our efforts and long-term vision of integrating technology with Islamic banking, which enables customers to bank from the comfort of their homes.

As we are at the forefront of Oman's Islamic Finance industry's remarkable growth, we continue to expand and deepen our client relationships, train and retain talents, and invest in the right products and services. Today, the bank's customer-centric approach, digital prowess, and impressive financial results rightfully manifest its leading and most trusted position within Oman's Islamic banking sector.

All our strategic initiatives and plans are aligned to play a meaningful role in the Sultanate's economic growth and social development while aiming to be the financial partner of choice for individuals as well as for corporate. For this purpose, the Bank's Project Finance and Syndication function strongly and dedicatedly supports the government's diversification plan and continues to do so by playing a crucial role in Oman's 2040 vision. We have continued to invest in projects that promise great returns and positively impact the communities we operate in.

Continuous development on our IT infrastructure is another of Bank Nizwa's strategic goals for the short and long term.

The Bank has made significant investments in future-proofing platforms and cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, data science, and robotics to enhance customer ex - perience. This will continue in order to posi - tion the business for future growth. Some of the extensive transformation and up-gradation programs that will continue into 2022 will give our Retail and Wholesale Banking customers a whole new customer experience with new features and services.

At Bank Nizwa, we adopt sustainability as a part of our daily operations, systems and processes. As a full-fledged Islamic bank, a sustainability strategy forms the backbone of our business strategy. In line with the same, we aspire to establish a sustainable and efficient operating model, a benchmark for Oman's Islamic Banking industry. Currently, we are working on integrat - ing the latest practices in sustainability within our banking system, which will focus on the economy, society and the environment. We will take further steps to realize our potential. We are delighted to provide more significant benefits to our customers and include them in the age of digital banking in Oman.

How İs The İslamic Banking İndustry In Oman? What Efforts Have Been Undertaken By Bank Nızwa To  Raise Awareness Around Islamic Finance?

Oman has become the world's 15th largest Islamic banking industry, commanding a 14.3 per cent share in the Sul - tanate's total banking assets. In Oman, Islamic Banking is very well regulated as enshrined in the Islamic Banking Regulatory Framework (IBRF) in extension to the Oman Banking Law. Over these years, the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has put in concerted efforts to provide equal op - portunities for the banking sector. Interestingly, despite many challenges, with two full-fledged Islamic banks and five Islamic windows, sharia-compliant banking assets accounted for 14.3% of Oman's total banking assets in 2020, and the growth is expected to continue in 2021-22. Bank Nizwa maintains a long-standing commitment to raising awareness of the concept and principles of Islamic finance and sharing its multifaceted benefits with people across the Sultanate. This has been done through an ex - tensive outreach program by engaging the community on sharia-compliant banking values to build a sustainable society and economy. Despite the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bank Nizwa continued on its mission to reach out to local communities across Oman and empower them with the knowledge of Islamic finance through webinars and virtual events. This has helped Bank Nizwa earn customers' trust in enabling them to lead financially secure lifestyles without compromising on their religious beliefs.

Whisch Areas Of Cooperation In Islamic Finance Are Available Between Oman And Turkey? 

The bilateral relations have been developing from the early '70s till date based on common interests and mutual benefits. Trade volume is around USD 450 – 500 million based on the latest published figures, consisting of 15% exports from Oman to Turkey and the remaining imports from Turkey to Oman.

Both countries are exciting markets, and there are compelling developments in the industry when it comes to Islamic Banking and Finance. In Islamic finance, there could be multiple avenunes of mutual gains, collaboration, and cooperation between Oman and Turkey. Of course, know-how, human resources and expertise exchange and development, particularly given Oman's rapid growth in Islamic finance

Themes of halal tourism, halal economy, entrepreneurship, trade, green finance solutions, agriculture, and fintech/technology solutions are where both countries gain from each other backed and funded by Islamic finance.

Turkish FDI can be directed to Oman via Islamic/ Participation banks for investing in vision 2040. Islamic Banks in each jurisdiction could open cross border branches in Oman and Turkey to smoothen the flows towards joint gain and access to new local and expatriate customer bases in each country, including Omanis in Turkey and Turks in Oman. For All the potentials, Bank Nizwa aims to be focal in initiating and materialising the same creating "Islamic Finance lead diplomacy".

In what areas Bank Nizwa been cooperating with Turkish participation banks?

Since its inception, we have been cooperating with most Turkish participation banks, especially on long-term and short-term placements. Besides that, receiving/sending trade finance business; letter of credits, counter guarantees and bill of collections.

Being an importer country, we issue more L/C's to Turkey for our clients. As there are projects handled/managed by Turkish companies, we receive counter guarantees from the bank in Turkey with different ticket sizes. However, moving from 2021 onwards, Bank Nizwa aims to expand the footprint in Turkey and go beyond average, mainly contributing to the Fintech and Halal Economic Sector. Bank Nizwa's capital base is expanding given the recent rights issue, the prospects appear even more timely and suitable for more to cooperate with Turkish participation banks.

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