MUSCAT: Bank Nizwa, the sultanate’s first full-fledged Islamic bank, has entered into an agreement with Oman Housing Bank (OHB) to offer Sharia’a-compliant solutions to nationals applying for home financing.

Bank Nizwa will provide applicants financing to buy, build or expand on an existing property worth up to RO60,000 with a payment plan of up to 25 years.

Signed by Bank Nizwa CEO Dr Jamil el Jaroudi and Adnan bin Haider Darwish, general manager of OHB, the collaboration is a direct response to the increasing demand from Omanis for Islamic-based products and services, a press release said on Sunday.

Darwish said, “We are delighted to announce our alliance with Bank Nizwa as our latest partner. As an Islamic bank, Omanis will now have an alternative to the conventional financing solutions and a reliable Sharia’a-compliant route to acquire personal properties. This will greatly enhance the ability for Omanis to build their dream homes without having to wait for long periods of time.”

Dr Jaroudi said, “We understand how important it is for Omanis to own their home as it provides the security they need to build a comfortable future for them and their families. From this stand point, we have partnered with OHB to support families take their first steps to owning their properties and are confident that we will not only facilitate reduction in the number of applicants on the waiting lists for OHB’s housing financing, but will also give them more choices and transparent products and services.”

The Bank Nizwa team is on call at all branches to field queries and educate customers on every option available for the purchase or building of a property. Through the bank’s strategic branch network, customers from OHB will be able to follow-up on their financing applications and finalize their paperwork from the respective wilayats rather than needing to come to Muscat for updates.

Bank Nizwa’s property finance has been designed based on the Sharia’a concept of ijara, murabaha and forward ijara whereby the bank purchases or constructs a property for lease or sale according to the customer’s request and plans, the press release added.