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In a significant new development, a new regulatory body, the Financial Services Authority (the FSA), has been established pursuant to Royal Decree 20/2024 (RD). Under the RD, which came into force on 25 March 2024, the FSA is mandated to replace the Capital Market Authority of the Sultanate of Oman in its entirety. 

Article III of the RD provides, amongst others, that "all allocations, assets, rights, obligations and holdings of the Capital Market Authority are hereby transferred to the Financial Services Authority" and Article VII of the RD further provides that all references to "Capital Authority Market" in other laws and royal decrees are replaced accordingly. It is also worth noting that the competences of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion to regulate the accounting and auditing profession are now transferred to the FSA as well, pursuant to the RD.

The implementing regulations for the RD setting out the FSA's roles and responsibilities and other specific details are expected to be published on 31 March 2024. 

This is certainly a ground-breaking change in the Omani financial markets and one to watch out for. Parties currently engaged in any transactions with Omani entities where the Capital Market Authority is involved as regulator should be aware of this development and look out for any potential impact.

It needs to be assessed how this change will practically play out and if the FSA will be mandated with a wider supervisory role than its predecessor, such as overseeing the market for virtual currencies and crypto assets.

As a firm well-versed with the Omani financial markets and regulatory framework, our local and international experts are well placed to advise on navigating the implications of this development. Please get in touch with our Oman team for further information.