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ME Weekly Report ‘MENA Bank to facilitate GCC constructions a must’ – A top economist emphasizes

Albert Fahil

The Muscat Securities Market surged by 18.46 (0.33%) to the day high value of 5,569.21 points and the Dubai Financial Market increased by 26.11 (1.93%) to the day high value of 1,379.95 points on October 27, 2011. Other regional stocks markets’ performances include the Bahrain Stocks Exchange which drooped by 1.85 (0.16%) to the day high value of 1,152.01 points as well as the Kuwait Stocks Exchange slumped by 2.90 (0.05%) to the day high value of 5,905.50 points but the Qatar Stocks Exchange surged by 71.64 (0.85%) to the day high value of 8,542.97 points. The Saudi Stocks Exchange too declined by 7.64 (0.12%) to the day high value of 6,155.18 points.

One of the premier economists in the GCC, Dr. Nassar Saidi speaking at a conference held in Dubai stated the GCC has potentiality to be the engine of the regional growth. The premier economists also pointed out the importance of setting up a MENA bank to infrastructure development in Arab countries. The members of the MENA bank should be from the oil producing GCC countries, he further pointed out. This week witnessed fourth consecutive family business forum between German and Oman having its three-day conference in Muscat earlier this week. Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with German International Institute for Family Enterprises organized the event.


BankMuscat extends support to Oman Islamic Economic Forum

MUSCAT – BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, has announced support to Oman Islamic Economic Forum to be held on 17-18 December at Al Bustan Palace Hotel. Organised by Amjad Group of Companies, the forum is aimed at shedding light on the impact of Islamic finance on the nation’s economy and defining the steps needed by the Sultanate to develop its capabilities in Islamic finance.

The forum will discuss proposals for forming an organisational framework for an effective Islamic banking business model. Islamic finance experts, academicians and businessmen from Oman and abroad will address the forum which has evoked good response.

Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group DGM - Consumer Banking, said: “The BankMuscat strategy is to support all initiatives that contribute to the progress and development of Oman. The Bank strives to increase the range of benefits for customers and we are confident that the forum will shed light on important aspects of Islamic banking and highlight the difference between Islamic banking and conventional banking, thereby familiarising people with the main characteristics of Islamic finance.”


BankMuscat SME workshop for women in Salalah evokes good response

MUSCAT – 25 October 2011 – BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, organised a workshop on ‘Financing SMEs: Challenges & Solutions’ in Salalah, attended by 80 women entrepreneurs. Coinciding with the Omani Women’s Day and aimed at reaching women entrepreneurs in Dhofar region, the interactive workshop was conducted by Amideast trainers focusing on strategies for securing business success through implementing operational and managerial best practices and overcoming challenges often encountered in managing business finance. A number of Omani businesswomen also attended the workshop. 

Ilham Al Hamaid, Head - SME Credit and Marketing, BankMuscat, said: “The workshop evoked good response as it was aimed at encouraging creativity and innovation among people, thereby contributing to national initiatives and economic development by facilitating an entrepreneurial environment in Oman. BankMuscat is a strong supporter of the government policy to encourage individual initiatives aimed at self-employment.”


BankMuscat Shopping Festival to cheer 1.4 million cardholders

MUSCAT, 24 October 2011 – BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, on Monday (24 October 2011) announced the 2nd BankMuscat Shopping Festival coinciding with the 41st National Day celebrations of Oman. The festival, which was a runaway success in 2010, has been conceived on a grand scale as a national event from 1 November to 10 December. The 40-day BankMuscat Shopping Festival 2011 is supported by Visa, Omantel, Oman Air and Travel Point, bringing together prominent hyper markets, shopping malls, retail outlets, travel and tours agencies, hotels, restaurants and much more.

Targeted at over 1.4 million cardholders of BankMuscat, the festival is unprecedented in its scope with attractive weekly prizes, special offers and discounts at all participating outlets. More than 400 brand partners and 2000 outlets are participating in the festival, spread out in all parts of Oman, including Sohar, Salalah, Nizwa and Sur. Customers shopping with BankMuscat cards can benefit from up to 85 per cent discount offered by these outlets.


BankMuscat posts RO 87.1 million net profit, board approves Q3 results

MUSCAT, 24 October 2011 - BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, on Sunday (24 October 2011) announced the financial results approved by the board of directors for Q3 ’11.

Sheikh Khalid bin Mustahail Al Mashani, Chairman, said: “The key business lines of the Bank recorded impressive performance during the period in question in spite of challenging situations faced by banks and financial institutions around the world. Going forward, the Bank is confident that such challenges will not deter it from identifying growth opportunities at home and abroad. The Bank remains focused on its prudent policies, aligning growth according to market conditions with a cautious approach.”


ahlibank supports Oman Investment Forum 2011

As part of their Responsible Banking initiatives, ahlibank has sponsored the MEED Oman Investment Forum 2011.  It was held at Al Bustan Palace Hotel between 10th and 12th October. The Forum attracted huge participation from within and outside Oman.  It was a perfect opportunity for interaction between public and private sectors and between policy makers and the corporate world of the sultanate.


Momentum builds up for year-end RO 400,000 grand prize BankMuscat fetes al Mazyona RO 200,000 prize winner

MUSCAT, 22 October 2011 – BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, marked a moment of big celebration for Abdulrahman Hilal Nasser al Rasbi from Al Kamil branch who won the RO 200,000 al Mazyona prize for the quarter ending September.


Oman banking report by ONA.

Muscat, Oct 21 (ONA) --- Broad money (M2) increased by 9.7 percent to RO 9,020.4 million in August 2011 compared to RO 8,222.6 million in August 2010. Narrow money (M1), comprising currency held by the public and local currency demand deposits, expanded by 15.1 percent to RO 3,073.6 million by August 2011 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 7.1 percent to RO 5,946.8 million by August 2011 compared to RO 5,551.1 million a year ago.

As regards the sources of broad money supply (M2), net foreign assets of the banking system (including CBO) increased by 5.5 percent to RO 5,089.2 million in August 2011 from RO 4,825.4 million in August 2010, while domestic assets increased by 15.7 percent to RO 3,931.2 million at the end of August 2011 from RO 3,397.2 million a year ago.


Oman Islamic Economic Forum.

Muscat, Oct 21 (ONA) --- The 2-day Oman Islamic Economic Forum will be held on December 17th in Al-Bustan Palace Hotel. The forum is organized by Amjad Group of Companies.

The forum aims at defining the steps needed by the Sultanate to develop its capabilities in the Islamic finance, Takaful finance and the factors in relation to the social responsibility in the Islamic finance sector. The forum will take part in presenting proposals for forming an organizational frame for the Islamic finance sector that would consequently help in promoting and consolidating the Sultanate's economic power.


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