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Standard Chartered sees a resilient Asia, Middle East and Africa in 2012

Sultanate of Oman, 16 January, 2012 – Standard Chartered sees 2012 as a year of a two-speed global economy. The Bank, which recently topped a ranking of 354 global firms for the accuracy of its economic forecasts over the past two years, sees a slowing global economy in 2012, with a fragile West and a resilient Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.

The mounting crisis in the advanced economies is expected to cause the euro area (-1.5%) and the UK (-1.3%) to fall back into recession and US growth (+1.7%) to remain below-trend.

The world economy grew strongly in 2010, expanding 4.3%, before cooling in 2011, when it grew by around 3.0%. In 2012, Standard Chartered expects a significant slowdown in the first half of the year because of the crisis in the West, slowing global growth to 2.2% for the full-year.

Gerard Lyons, Chief Economist and Group Head of Global Research, said: “This points to the continuation of a two-speed world where a fragile West contrasts with a resilient East. It is a divided and disconnected world economy facing major policy dilemmas. Yet, no region is fully decoupled from events elsewhere. During the first half of 2012, problems in Europe and the West will weigh on global growth. By the second half, stronger growth across China and other emerging economies should pull up worldwide activity. It will be a recovery made in the East and felt in the West. If ever one needed to illustrate the shift in the balance of power, this is it.”

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Oman First Islamic Finance & Banking Conference

Under the Patronage of His ExcellencyDarwish bin Ismail bin Ali Al Balushi,Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs in the Sultanate of Oman
Muscat hosts"Oman First Islamic Finance & Banking Conference"on 23-24 January

President of the Islamic Development Bank, governors of central banks & 400 participants to attend conference.

Ahli Oman Diamond sponsor

Under the patronage of H.E.Darwish bin Ismail bin Ali Al Balushi,Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs in the Sultanate of Oman, "Oman First Islamic Finance & Banking Conference” organized by Al-IktissadWal-Aamal Groupin collaboration with the Central Bank of Omanis to take placeon 23-24 January2012, at Al Bustan Palace Hotel – Muscat.

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BankMuscat launches innovative CSR role for staff

MUSCAT, 16 January 2012 – BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, has launched an innovative corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative involving the 3000-strong employees. The new CSR strategy which stems from the Royal directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos to accord priority for social responsibility is the first of its kind in Oman and the region to engage all staff in making a big difference in giving back to society. AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, presided at the event to unveil the new CSR initiative.

AbdulRazak Ali Issa said: “The BankMuscat CSR initiative is an earnest attempt to respond to reality. As the leading bank in the Sultanate, BankMuscat is at the forefront to contribute to society and thereby set a fine example for the banking sector to develop social work as corporate culture. The CSR initiative is a commitment to involve everybody in the Bank in social activities. The Bank aims to bring social responsibility in the blood of everyone and it will become the culture of the organisation. The initiative reflects the Bank’s commitment to set benchmark standards in social responsibility.”

As part of the CSR strategy, all employees will commit to a minimum of five hours of voluntary social work in a year as well as monetary contributions. Each staff member will be assigned specific key performance indicator (KPI) requirement involving social work for the annual performance appraisal.

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Four Omani Women selected to sail the grueling 1408km Arabian Tour

In a highly-anticipated announcement, Oman Sail has revealed the four Omani recruits who will join the all-woman crew Al Thuraya BankMuscat for the prestigious Sailing Arabia The Tour (SATT), 2012.

The announcement was made at an official press conference organized by Oman Sail, in co-operation with BankMuscat, at the Bank’s headquarters. The event was attended by several officials and delegates from Oman and the GCC, including Her Highness Sheikha Naima Al Sabah, Head of GCC Women Sports Organizing Committee, Ahlam Al Mana, Chairwoman of Qatar Women Spots Committee, Sayyida Sana Al Busaidi, Head of Women Sports Association at Oman Olympic Committee, Bing Liu Shu representing International Olympic Committee, Zaitoon Othman representing the Olympic Council of Malaysia, Dr Muna Al Ansari from Bahrain University, Dr Maryam Arab from Kuwait University and Saada Al Ismaili  Head of Womens Sports association Ministry of Sports, Sulaiman bin Mohamed Al Yahyai- Vice-Chairman BankMuscat, and David Graham, CEO of Oman Sail.

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BankMuscat announces 2011 preliminary results, net profit touches RO 117. 5 million

MUSCAT, 15 January 2011 - BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, announced the preliminary unaudited results for the year 2011. The Bank’s preliminary unaudited net profit is RO 117.5 million for the year ended 31 December 2011 compared to RO 101.6 million reported for the year 2010, an increase of 15.6 per cent.

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BankMuscat hosts Islamic banking seminar in Sohar

MUSCAT, 13 January 2012 – BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, hosted the third seminar on Islamic banking at Sohar College of Applied Science. H.E. Sheikh Muhanna bin Saif Al Lamki, Governor of North Batinah, presided at the event attended by State Council and Shura Council members and prominent citizens.

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In 2012, fragile West, resilient East, Standard Chartered Bank's report

WAM DUBAI: Standard Chartered Bank sees 2012 as a year of a two-speed global economy. The Bank also sees a slowing global economy in 2012, with a fragile West and a resilient Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.

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ME Weekly Report – Best pay hike in ME for year 2012 likely to include Oman

Albert Fahil

The change of the Muscat Securities Market on January 12, 2012 was in uptrend. The market index showed an increase of 3.77 (0.07%) to the day high value of 5,174.34 points and the Dubai Financial Market dropped by 2.24 (0.17%) to the day high value of 1,333.92 points. The Bahrain Stocks Exchange too went down by 5.18 (0.46%) to the day high value of 1,134.48 points and the Qatar Stocks Exchange surged by 11.64 (0.13%) to the day high value of 8,727.74 points. The Kuwait Stocks Exchange also surged by 6.60 (0.12%) to the day high value of 5,724.20 points and the Saudi Stocks Market indicated an increase of 9.81 (0.15%) to the day high value of 6,497.92 points.

Oman first Islamic Banking Conference will be held on 23-25 at Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Muscat. The conference is held in relation with the Oman Central Bank. It will discuss the progress of Islamic Banking in the Kingdom which is expected to develop by $6 billion by 2015. The progress will record about eight to ten annual growth rate. This week, the banks in Oman were spurred to allocate more funds in small and medium scale industries. It is highlighted that more than 120,000 small-scale businesses are in the Kingdom and they generate more than 20% GDP. Due to this reason, it is said that banks should provide them with more financial and related aid to develop their businesses.

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BankMuscat conducts fire evacuation drill at head office

MUSCAT, 11 January 2012 - BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, as part of its Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) exercise, successfully conducted a fire evacuation drill in co-operation with the Royal Oman Police (ROP) units of Civil Defence, Fire Brigade and Ambulance services. The exercise required the evacuation of over 1400 people, which was achieved in under-5 minutes, recognised as one of the largest fire evacuation drills in the Sultanate.

Significant coordination and preparation efforts were made to ensure the exercise was a success and there was no impact to the Bank’s services to customers. The drill caused no disruption to the Bank branch and ATM/CDMs at the Head Office, which all operated normally. The Head Office evacuation lasted 30 minutes before the staff returned to their desks to commence work.

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