Muscat – “ASWAQ”
Capital Market Authority (CMA) in Oman recently announced that a new Takaful regulating law might be issued soon.
The market demand for Islamic products and the low insurance penetration form a big opportunity for growth, explained Sheikh Abdullah Salem Al-Salmi, executive president of CMA. Al-Salmi added, at the launching ceremony of Takaful Oman Insurance Company at the end of last month, there is a big appetite for initial public offerings (IPOs) and the new Takaful company is going to capitalize on that.
In Oman, companies are required to submit their financial statements quarterly with a statutory period of 30 days from the last day of each quarter. A period that is extended to 45 days in case of holding companies. However, Al Salmi pointed out they might be soon decreasing this to only two weeks.
Iraq conflict has affected some markets in the region, but not Oman as Al-Salmi describes the local market being “real”.
As for IPOs in general, the CMA president said, “The liquidity is there, and we need to utilize this liquidity in financing economic projects.”
At the beginning of this year, there has been a strong interest in the Omani Takaful market. This was highlighted when “Al Madina Takaful” converted itself from being a conventional insurance company into a sharia compliant insurer, better known as Takaful. Since then and in addition to “Takaful Oman”, the conventional insurer “Oman United” had already ventured into Takaful,after obtaining a board approval last year.
Some of the strongest backers for the Takaful industry in Oman are Kuwaiti investors, mainly Kuwait’s T’azur Takaful Insurance, which is one of the main investors in the new Takaful Oman Insurance Company.