Muscat: The Islamic banking activities witnessed a significant growth during the first half of 2014 in terms of deposits, revenues and finance amidst a remarkable turnout for Islamic banking products by individuals and corporates.
The net revenues of Islamic banks and windows rose to OMR16.6 million by the end of June 2014, compared toOM6.7 million at the end of June 2013, a 147 per cent growth. The deposits also grew by 133 per cent to hit OMR358.7 million, compared to OMR154 million during the same period last year.
While official data about the growth of Islamic and traditional banks are not available, the data collected by the Oman News Agency (ONA) showed that the deposits at the five Islamic windows at the end of June 2014 stood at OMR278.6 million, compared to OMR13.5 billion for the five traditional banks.
The Islamic windows' deposits achieved a 74.6 per cent growth compared to 16.3 per cent by the five commercial banks that opened Islamic banking windows namely Meethaq of Bank Muscat, Muzn of National Bank of Oman (NBO), Maisarah of Bank Dhofar, Al Hilal of ahlibank and Sohar Al Islami of Bank Sohar.
The data also pointed out that the revenues of the five windows grew to OMR12.4 million by the end of June 2014, posting a 100 per cent growth rate compared to the corresponding period last year. The revenues of the commercial banks that opened windows grew by 4.8 per cent from OMR216.1 million to OMR226.5 million.
The Board Chairman of Bank Dhofar pointed out that during the first half of the year, Maisarah Islamic Banking signed an OMR17.6 million worth of finance agreement to set up a hotel in The Wave Muscat.
He pointed out that the total assets of the Islamic windows as of June-end 2014 stood at OMR125.2 million, including OMR88.7 million as net finance, OMR10.2 million as investments in Sukuk while the customer deposits stood at OMR26.9 million.
The Board Chairman of Bank Muscat said that the finance transactions of Meethaq stood at OMR352 million at the end of June 2014, compared to OMR214 million at the end of June 2013. The customers' deposits at Meethaq stood at OMR179 million compared to OMR133 million at the end of June 2013.
As per the statistics prepared by the ONA, Meethaq came first in terms of Islamic banking customer deposits, followed by Bank Nizwa (OMR74.5 million), Al Hilal (OMR31.8 million), Maisarah (OMR26.9 million), Sohar Al Islami (OMR22.7 million), Muzn (OMR18.4 million) and finally Alizz Islamic Bank (OMR5.5 million).
The ONA data also pointed out that the finance provided by the Islamic windows at the end of June 2014 stood at OMR624.7 million compared to OMR260 million at the end of June 2013, a growth of 140.2 per cent.
The banking loans provided by the five commercial banks that have opened Islamic windows increased from OMR10.4 billion to OMR13 billion during the same period, a growth of 25 per cent.
The gross assets of Nizwa and Alizz Islamic banks has grown to OMR337.6 million by the end of June 2014, compared to OMR270.2 million recorded at the end of June 2013, a growth of 25 per cent.
While Bank Nizwa managed to reduce its losses to OMR3.8 million compared to OMR9.7 million during the corresponding period last year, Alizz Islamic banks' losses rose from OMR1.5 million to OMR2.6 million.
The Board Chairman of Bank Dhofar said that the losses incurred by Maisarah (worth OMR258,000) come within the budget. The other windows did not comment on the losses incurred or profits made by them during the first half of 2014.