Chairman of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), Shaikh Abdullah Salem al Salmi, approved on Thursday the licensing of the first crowdfunding platform operator in the Sultanate of Oman, Ethis Investment Platform LLC. It is the first Islamic global crowdfunding platform to operate in Oman.
A nod from the Authority is the first since the new Crowdfunding Platform Rules were issued on November 21, 2021. CMA has attracted overwhelming interest from international as well as local crowdfunding fintech players since it has been made very facilitative and allows cross-border investing. As part of the new regulation, the CMA will be regulating all crowdfunding activities for companies in Oman, including donation-based, rewards-based, equity-based, and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing.
Crowdfunding platform initiative by the CMA seeks to provide an alternative financing platform for companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to raise funding directly from investors without going through financial institutions, while enhancing financial inclusion by facilitating financial access.
As a result, it is in line with Oman’s Vision 2040, enabling the development of the economy and attracting foreign investors into the Sultanate of Oman. Fintech is driving crowdfunding, which includes the use of blockchain technology, which is a major milestone for Oman’s Central Market Authority in developing capital markets and fintech.
Moreover, it is a milestone in the development of Islamic finance in the Sultanate of Oman – since a key component of Shariah-based financing is to promote financial inclusion. Ethis Global Group will operate the crowdfunding platform through Ethis Investment Platform LLC in Oman, which will offer both equity and P2P financing.
Ethis Group is a licensed equity crowdfunding platform in Malaysia and a licensed P2P financing crowdfunding platform in Indonesia. Both are regulated by their respective securities regulators. They also have a donation-based global crowdfunding platform. The CMA also expects a few more crowdfunding platforms, both conventional and Islamic, to be established and licensed in Oman in the near future.