This chapter includes the following articles.
Oman’s stable and tightly regulated banking sector has continued to perform well in recent times. The expansion of the newly launched sharia-compliant segment, coupled with strong asset growth, has been central to the sector’s development. Indeed, the Central Bank of Oman has established a Sharia Supervisory Authority to help regulate the sharia-compliant segment while commercial banking assets have continued to expand, growing at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 12% between 2010 and 2014, well ahead of inflation. As the government ramps up its investment in infrastructure projects, project finance is seen as one of the most promising areas for lending growth. Boosting SME lending is also a priority for the economy, with the Central Bank of Oman introducing a requirement for all banks to allocate 5% of their total loan books to SMEs by 2016. This chapter contains an interview Hamood Sangour Al Zadjali, Executive President, Central Bank of Oman; and a roundtable discussion between AbdulRazak Ali Issa, CEO, Bank Muscat; Amin Al Husseini, CEO, Oman Arab Bank; and Lloyd Maddock, CEO, Ahlibank Oman.