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BankMuscat AGM approves 40 per cent dividend

MUSCAT, 18 March 2012 – BankMuscat shareholders approved 40 per cent dividend, 25 per cent in the form of cash and 15 per cent in the form of bonus shares, at the 2011 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Bank’s headquarters on Sunday (18 March 2012). Sheikh Khalid bin Mustahail Al Mashani, Chairman of BankMuscat, presided at the AGM attended by the Board of Directors and prominent shareholders.

Sheikh Khalid said: “Amid the challenging global economic and financial situation, the key business lines of the Bank recorded healthy performance on expected lines.”

The Bank achieved a net profit of RO 117.5 million for the year ended 31 December 2011 as against a net profit of RO 101.6 million reported in 2010, an increase of 15.6 per cent. Net interest income increased by 13.3 per cent to RO 212.1 million in 2011 from RO 187.2 million reported during the year 2010. Increase in net interest income is attributable to improvement in net interest margin and asset growth. Non-interest income at RO 82.1 million was higher by 5 per cent compared to the year 2010.

Operating expenses for the year ended 31 December 2011 was at RO 120.9 million, an increase of 17.5 per cent as compared to 2010. Increase in operating expenses is attributable to higher manpower cost and operating expenses related to investment in technology and facilities.  The cost to income ratio for the year 2011 was at 41.1 per cent  as compared to 38.8 per cent  in 2010. Impairment for credit losses for the year ended 31 December 2011 was RO 56.2 million as against RO 46.6 million in 2010. Increase in impairment for credit losses was mainly due to creation of general provision in line with the loan growth. During the year 2011, the Bank was able to recover RO 25.6 million from impairment for credit losses as against RO 13.6 million recovered in 2010. Share of loss from associates was RO 3.5 million in 2011 as against RO 12.6 million in 2010. The reduction in share of loss from associate was due to lower losses from BMI Bank in 2011 as compared to 2010.

Net loans and advances increased by 20.2 per cent to RO 4,819 million as against RO 4,008 million as at 31 December 2010. Customer deposits, including CDs, increased by 31.8 per cent to RO 4,850 million as against RO 3,682 million as at 31 December 2010. During the year 2011, demand deposits increased by 29.5 per cent, savings deposits increased by 19.8 per cent and term deposits increased by 49.6 per cent.

The return on average assets marginally improved from 1.7 per cent in 2010 to 1.8 per cent in 2011.  The return on average equity improved to 15.4 per cent in 2011 as compared to 14.6 per cent in 2010. The basic earnings per share was RO 0.076 in 2011 as against RO 0.075 in 2010. The Bank’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 15.9 per cent as on 31 December 2011 after appropriation for dividend for the year 2011 against the minimum required level of 12 per cent  by the Central Bank of Oman.

For the year 2011, shareholders would receive cash dividend of RO 0.025 per ordinary share of RO 0.100 each aggregating to RO 38.71 million on the Bank’s existing share capital. In addition, they would receive bonus shares in the proportion of one share for every 6.666 ordinary shares aggregating to 232,256,957 shares of RO 0.100 each amounting to RO 23.22 million.


Ministry of Social Development, BankMuscat to launch Fund for homes of rural poor

MUSCAT, 18 March 2012 -  H.E Darwish bin Ismail Al Balushi, Minister of Finance, will preside today (Monday, 19 March 2012) at the launch of a national fund set up by the Ministry of Social Development in response to a CSR initiative by BankMuscat for renovation and upkeep of homes of underprivileged families in rural Omani communities.  The fund is open for corporates and institutions to join hands and reach out to weaker sections of society.


BankMuscat to host IIA seminar on combating fraud

MUSCAT, 17 March 2012 – BankMuscat, the flagship financial institution in the Sultanate, is hosting a seminar on ‘Combating Fraud’ by Ms Mandy Green, Director, Forensic & Dispute Services (Middle East) - Deloitte & Touche (ME) & Co. on 20 March from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Bank’s Head Office. The seminar organised by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) – Oman is aimed at helping internal auditors address the risk of fraud.


Oman Banking report by ONA.

Muscat, March 16 (ONA) --- Broad money (M2) increased by 13.1 percent to RO 9,964.9 million in January 2012 compared to RO 8,810.1 million in January 2011. Narrow money (M1), comprising currency held by the public and local currency demand deposits, expanded by 3.6 percent to RO 3,078.1 million by January 2012 on a year-on-year basis.

Quasi money (comprising RO savings and time deposits, certificates of deposit issued by commercial banks, margin deposits and foreign currency denominated deposits) increased by 17.9 percent to RO 6,886.8 million in January 2012 compared to RO 5,839 million in the previous year.


ME Weekly Report GCC invests heavily in farming

Albert Fahil

The Muscat Securities Market performed well recording an increase of 17.99 (0.30%) to the day’s high trade limit at 5,981.02 points while the Dubai Financial Market increased trading by 8.99 (0.53%) to the day high value of 1,711.75 points on March 14, 2012. On the same day, the Bahrain Stocks Market also surged by 3.14 (0.27%) to the day high value of 1,149.13 points, and the Kuwait Stocks Exchange improved by 15.20 (0.25%) to the day high value of 6,613.80 points. The Qatar Stocks Exchange, however, slumped by 2.45 (0.03%) to the day high value of 8,635.70 points, while the Saudi Stocks Exchange showed an increase of 46.88 (0.62%) to the day high value of 7,587.98 points.

The survey ‘Platts’ of OPEC, officials and analysts showed that Oil production of the OPEC countries has increased by 31.17m barrels per a day during the month of February, 2012. In January, these countries had produced 30.87 barrels per day. Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Oman stated earlier this week that the bank lending to the private sector had been grown by 13 percent in the year of 2011. Nevertheless, still, the lending for public sectors by banks was much higher, which was about 58 percent, than to the private sector ventures, the Central Bank’s statement further stated.


Countdown for RO 300,000 al Mazyona quarterly prize begins

MUSCAT, 14 March 2012 - Popular al Mazyona Savings Scheme from BankMuscat continues to reward customers, inculcating a strong savings culture in Oman.

Countdown for al Mazyona quarterly prize of RO 300,000 has begun with the draw to be held in April. The quarterly prize significantly raises the appeal of al Mazyona as the Bank gives away the big prize of RO 300,000 every three months. For eligibility, customers are required to maintain RO 1,000 minimum balance for three months.

BankMuscat is proud to take the popular savings scheme deeper to the hearts of people and link it to issues benefitting society, encouraging prudent savings and spending habits. Early this year, the Bank sprung a big surprise, taking the total prize money of al Mazyona Savings Scheme to a whopping RO 6 million with unparalleled winning chances for all segments across the Sultanate.


Banking on the Bottom Line for 2012

A.T. Kearney analysis confirms recovery of GCC banks’ profitability and insists onfinding the right balance between necessary investments and cost management–

Dubai,14 March 2012 – After years of hyper-speed growth, GCC banks then had to pass the test of the economic crisis and now must prepare for yet another growth wave. Back to pre-crisis level in terms of profitability, banks urgently need to enhance their capabilities and level of customer service, after several years of relatively low investments.  Their challenge will be to do this in an environment where cost-to-income ratios remain under pressure and cost management is a priority.



BankMuscat’s Meethaq wins Best in Oman award by Islamic Banking News

MUSCAT, 13 March 2012 –  BankMuscat’s Meethaq Islamic Banking operations, subject to approval from the Central Bank of Oman, won the Best in Oman award from Islamic Finance News. Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group GM - Meethaq Islamic Banking, received the award at the ceremony in Dubai. The Islamic Finance News awards recognise and celebrate success and contributions of individuals and institutions in the Islamic financial services industry across the world.

Sulaiman Al Harthy said: “BankMuscat is the first financial institution in the Sultanate to introduce Shariah compliant products to the public. Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman, will reach out to customers with the promise of being true to their beliefs, offering all the advantages of banking by following the principles of Shariah law. The Meethaq suite of banking products which combine traditional values with modernity are in the pipeline to give the choice of staying true to one’s values. Inspired by faith and a tradition of trust, Meethaq will help customers stay true to their values.”


BankMuscat CE conferred honorary doctorate by Indian university

MUSCAT, 12 March 2012 – In recognition of significant contributions to the banking sector in Oman and the GCC region, AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive of BankMuscat, was conferred an honorary doctorate by Hindustan University in the southern Indian state of Chennai. AbdulRazak received the honorary PhD at the second convocation of Hindustan University in which he presided as the guest of honour.

AbdulRazak said: “I owe this achievement to the valuable opportunities made available to Omanis by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. BankMuscat is a Renaissance achievement of the Sultanate under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and I am proud to have been associated with the Bank in its quest to emerge as the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate.”


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