Muscat: Bank Nizwa, which is purportedly Oman's first dedicated Islamic bank, yesterday introduced its home-finance solution, which will enable its customers to own their own homes.
Addressing a press conference held here yesterday to announce the launch of Bank Nizwa's home-finance solutions, Dr. Jamil El Jaroudi, CEO of Bank Nizwa, said, "Home finance with a maximum ceiling of OMR450,000 per person will be offered to our customers as part of Bank Nizwa's strategy to offer to the people of Oman a versatile and wide-ranging product portfolio that is compatible with Islamic Ssharia law."
He observed, "Based on the Islamic model of Ijara wa iktina'a, customers can make their home-ownership dreams a reality, while enjoying speedy processing and approval times as well as transparent prices and charges, thus reducing the stress involved in buying a home."
He added, "We have assessed the needs of the market and listened closely to our customers to provide a viable home-finance solution for them." He pointed out that the home-finance solution can be used by Omanis as well as expatriates (in designated integrated tourism complexes or real estate projects).
Tariq Al Farsi, general manager of retail and private banking for Bank Nizwa, said, "Buying a home is a big decision. We, at Bank Nizwa, understand the importance of this aspect, and thus, our home finance is offered with this in mind. The customer should focus on property selection, and we try to remove the burden of processing the essential documents.
"While the customer is focused on the selection, we are busy processing the requirements quickly. The result of all this care is that the customer gets the property hassle-free and rather quickly."
He added, "We know that a home is one of the most important assets a person can own, and the decision to buy or build a home is one that is not taken lightly. At Bank Nizwa, we assure our customers that we are with them every step of the way and that they are getting the best advice at each stage of the process."
He noted, "Within Bank Nizwa's home-finance solution, customers can choose from a range of solutions, depending on their needs, including purchasing property that is already habitable and selecting home-loan buyouts to transfer existing home loans from the customers' current mortgage lender.
The bank is also planning to launch Home Construction Finance in the near future. Bank Nizwa will provide extensive support to ensure its customers have access to relevant expertise." Bank Nizwa's home-finance solution is just one product in the bank's personal-banking suite. Other solutions include its recently launched auto-finance and personal-finance solutions.
With plans to expand its services into other areas, the bank continues to exceed expectations.
Home financing is readily available at all of Bank Nizwa's branches, with highly skilled personal-banking officers on hand to guide customers through the process.
Also present at the press briefing yesterday were Sheikh Ibrahim Al Sawafi, Sharia Supervisory Board member, and Dr. Ashraf Al Nabhani, general manager of corporate affairs. The three most popular models of home purchase plans in Islamic finance are Ijara, which means "lease" in Arabic; Musharaka, which means "partnership"; and Murabaha, which means "profit."