Backed up by strong macroeconomic fundamentals and the sultanate’s reputation for stability and sound financial management, Oman’s banking sector has been remarkably resilient in recent years. The sector has registered good growth in the face of market volatility linked to the Arab Spring and the eurozone crisis. Going forward, banks are now entering a period of substantial change. In 2013, Islamic banks will enter the field for the first time, bringing heightened competition for deposits and loans, while also bringing wider choice for Omani individuals and businesses. Indeed, with competition set to increase, conventional banks are now focusing on expanding into Islamic banking, opening dedicated branches for sharia-compliant financial services. This is set to bring a wider range of products and services within the sector.
This chapter includes an interview with Hamood bin Sangour bin Hashim Al Zadjali, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).