Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sukuk in the Sultanate of Oman

Licenses have now been issued by the Central Bank of Oman (the “CBO”) for some Islamic banks and windows in the Sultanate of Oman. Islamic banking, finance and investment activities have commenced. Banks, each to their shared and separate visions, are avidly pursuing realization of market opportunities and provision of Islamic financing services. There is considerable discussion, in the private sector and among regulators, regarding investing in and issuing sukuk and developing the “finance side” of the Islamic capital markets. The early focus on the sukuk markets is to be expected, given that the sukuk markets are the largest and most rapidly growing area of Islamic finance.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Insider Trading

The term ‘insider trading’ typically evokes images of nefarious plots and shady dealings. And indeed, illicit insider trading often fits that description. However, it is important to recognize that legal forms of insider trading also exist, whereby the insiders of a company are allowed to trade in the securities of the company entirely within the parameters of the law.


Friday, February 1, 2013

U.S.- Oman FTA Implementation Issues - Treatment of U.S. Companies with Partial Non-U.S. Ownership

Although the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement has been a major success story, as with any lengthy and complex treaty, its implementation has not happened overnight.

One implementation issue that has generated much discussion lately is the accordance of Omani national treatment to U.S. companies that have some percentage of non-U.S. ownership.

The position historically taken by the Omani Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MOCI) is that, as matter of principle, the national treatment benefits under the U.S.-Oman FTA (such as the right to hold 100% ownership of an Omani limited liability company) should apply only to companies that are both (i) incorporated in the U.S. and (ii) wholly owned by U.S. natural persons.