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Islamic banking in Oman to grow

Islamic banking in Oman is expected to grow at double-digit rates as Sharia-compliant banking products increasingly gain acceptance and the government’s plans to ease restrictions come to fruition. Launched in 2012, Oman’s nascent Islamic banking segment saw assets surge more than five-fold to OMR1.1 billion ($2.86 billion) at the end of the second quarter of 2014. The sector, which comprises two dedicated Sharia-compliant lenders and six commercial banks with registered Islamic banking windows, currently represents more than 4% of Oman’s total banking assets, but this may increase to 10% by 2018 if the best-case scenario for asset growth is achieved. Under a base scenario, Islamic banking assets could reach OMR5 billion ($13 billion) by 2018, a 7% share of estimated total assets.

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