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BankMuscat set to spring a surprise with exciting 2012 savings scheme Rustaq branch customer wins RO 400,000 al Mazyona grand prize

MUSCAT, 7 January 2012 – Excitement gripped Markaz Al Bahja mall as Oman’s popular al Mazyona savings scheme from BankMuscat turned out to be a grand celebration for Rashid bin Hamed al Shukaili from Rustaq branch who won the second RO 400,000 jackpot prize of the 2011 scheme. H.E Mohammed Abdullah Al Busaidi, Wali of Seeb, presided at the mega event attended by senior bank officials and picked the lucky winner.

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Private Deposits at Commercial Banks/Report

Muscat, Jan 6 (ONA) --- The total value of private deposits at
the commercial banks in the Sultanate as of the end of October 2011
rose by 13.4% to (RO. 7.878,6) billion compared to (RO. 6.947,2)
billion in the corresponding period in 2010.

The monthly statistical bulletin published by the Central Bank of
Oman (CBO) pointed out that the gross value for the deposits as of the
end of September 2011 includes the time deposits stood at (RO.
2.934,2) billion, (RO. 2.406,6) billion saving deposits and (RO 2.446)
billion on demand deposits.

The bulletin pointed out that the total value for these deposits
include (RO. 7.286) billion and (RO. 592,6) million in foreign
currencies.

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ME Weekly Report - Qatar calls for GCC unification on domestic workers

Albert Fahil

The Muscat Securities Market Index showed a decline of 8.13 (0.14%) to the day high value of 5,712.12 points and the Dubai Finance Market drooped by 3.85 (0.29%) to the day high value of 1,351.67 points on January 4, 2012. The Bahrain Stocks Exchange surged slightly by 1.47 (0.13%) to the day high value of 1,135.66 points while the Kuwait Stocks Exchange declined by 26.70 (    0.46%) to the day high value of 5,782.10 points. The Qatar Stocks Exchange surged by 11.37 (0.13%) to the day high value of 8,910.21 points and the Saudi Stocks Exchange drooped by 6.01 (0.09%) to the day high value of 6,420.93 points.

Since its inception up to December 2011, Oman Development Bank has granted loans worth of RO 354 million for the various sectors in Oman. For these loans, the Oman government bears the 6% interests rate while the debtors have to bear only 3% interests. In addition, interest free loans have also been granted for traditional crafters as well. This week, Oman Tender Board awarded contracts to build 37 aerobridges at the Muscat and Salalah Airports. The construction will cost RO 6.2 million. Of the total of bridges, 29 would be constructed at the Muscat International Airport and the other eight would be built at the Salalah International Airport, sources stated.

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BankMuscat to host Islamic banking seminar in Sohar

MUSCAT, 6 January 2012 – BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, is hosting the third seminar on Islamic banking on 9 January at Sohar College of Applied Science. Skeikh Ibrahim Al Sawafi and Sheikh Azan Al Amri, researchers at Ifta’a office, Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, will address the seminar aimed at raising awareness and familiarising people with the main characteristics of Islamic finance.

Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group DGM - Consumer Banking, said: “The BankMuscat strategy is to attract customers through innovative products and services. As always, BankMuscat takes the lead in offering value added services. The Bank strives to increase the range of benefits for customers and we are confident that the Islamic banking seminar will shed light on important aspects of Islamic banking from the Shariah perspective.”

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Al Hilal Bank first in the Middle East to use award-winning digital pen technology to optimize document-based transactions

Device from BSTechnologies automatically converts hand-written documents to digital format

January 4, 2012

Al Hilal Bank, a progressive Islamic bank, is using state-of-the-art digital pens developed in the UK to revolutionize its document-based field and office operations. Al Hilal Bank has thus become the first bank in the Middle East to use this technology, perfectly complementing its strategy of using best-in-class technologies such as thumb verification, instant card issuance and digital certification to ensure the highest level of security in banking transactions and enhanced customer satisfaction. Launched in June 2008, Al-Hilal Bank prides itself in taking a progressive approach to providing its customers with accessible Shariah-compliant banking solutions.    

The award-winning digital pen is currently used by Al Hilal Bank’s direct sales team as well as office staff involved in Credit Finance, Finance Operations, and Sales Coordination. The device includes a camera and a GPS that digitalize and automatically import the written documents to Al Hilal’s systems. Al Hilal personnel simply write on a specially-printed copy of a particular document with the digital pen, which automatically records the handwriting in its memory. The recorded ink is then downloaded and matched with the image of the original document. It also creates a new, exact copy of the handwritten document in PDF format, just as if it had been scanned or photocopied. The digital copy can then be easily saved, sent, archived, copied, deleted or retrieved depending on the bank’s requirements.

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RO 400,000 al Mazyona grand draw today

MUSCAT, 4 January 2011 – BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, has organised a gala event today (Thursday, 5 January 2012) to celebrate with the banking family and the public the life-changing experience of al Mazyona’s second RO 400,000 jackpot prize of the 2011 scheme. A high point in the calendar of big prizes from BankMuscat, the mega draw will be held at Markaz Al Bahja mall from 6.30 pm. H.E Mohammed Abdullah Al Busaidi, Wali of Seeb, will preside at the celebrations and pick the lucky winner. The family event comprising entertainment and fun activities is open to all.

al Mazyona, reckoned the savings scheme of the nation, offers one of the biggest prize money in the savings scheme history in Oman. The objective is to create a lifetime change for winners and allow them to invest their prize money in things that will make a lasting difference and the well-being of their families.

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BankMuscat wins Best Broker in Oman award by Global Investor

MUSCAT, 3 January 2012 – BankMuscat Brokerage Department has won the Best Broker in Oman award by Global Investor. The award acknowledged the department’s strong reputation for offering sound advice to domestic and foreign clients as well as expertise in equity research offered to a wide network of investors.

The division, which services a geographically diverse base of emerging market institutional investors, has consistently won accolades for promoting trading on Muscat Securities Market (MSM) and is reckoned the broker of first choice among foreign institutions investing in Oman.  The team is committed to providing customers with exclusive value-added services as part of the one-stop financial services package offered by the Investment Banking division.

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IFC Capitalization Fund invests $170 million in BankMuscat to support SME, housing finance

MUSCAT, 2 January 2011— IFC Capitalization Fund will invest $170 million in subordinated debt in BankMuscat, the largest commercial bank in the Sultanate of Oman, to strengthen its capital base and help increase access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SME) and middle-income home buyers. The $170 million subordinated loan agreement was signed between IFC Capitalization Fund and BankMuscat on 29 December.

IFC Capitalization Fund is a global equity and subordinated debt fund founded by International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. It aims to support banks considered vital to the financial system of emerging market countries.

The investment will provide long-term capital resources to BankMuscat as it continues to expand its financial services. The facility is focused on expanding operations of Al Wathbah, the Bank’s small and medium enterprises (SME) division, and baituna, the housing finance unit. It will also support cross-border investments within the region, facilitating greater economic and financial integration.

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BANKDHOFARS RECEIVES TOP 20 PERFORMING COMPANY AWARD AT OMAN DEBATE 2011

2nd January 2012 Muscat:  BankDhofar has been ranked in the Top 20 Companies in Oman in a survey done by Oman Economic Review in association with Mukhtar Hassan an acclaimed financial analyst and results audited and verified by KPMG. The Bank ranked 4th in the top five by profit, 4th in the top five by growth of profit, and 3rd in the top five by market capitalization.

The award was presented during the Oman Debate 2011, held recently at Al Bustan Palace and was received by Mr. Mohammed Redha Jawad, G.M Wholesale Banking, BankDhofar. “We are delighted to accept this recognition from OER. This award has been a result of the contribution and hard work by all staff of the Bank, and continued support of the  Board of Directors without their dedication and support this would not have been possible.”  said Mr. Jawad.

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