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HSBC BANK OMAN’S ICONIC HEAD OFFICE GOES DARK FOR EARTH HOUR

Muscat, March 31st 2014 – As part of its commitment to inspire staff to deliver improved environmental efficiency, HSBC Bank Oman S.A.O.G. marked Earth Hour by switching off all non-essential lighting at its iconic head office in Al Khuwair between 8:30pm and 9:30pm on Saturday 29th March. The Bank invited staff to the premises to observe Earth Hour and take a moment to reflect on the value of the planet and its precious resources. Staff members were also presented with potted plants to commemorate Earth Hour and as a reminder that small changes made as a community make a big difference in supporting the country’s move towards a low-carbon economy.

As a responsible member of the community, HSBC Bank Oman takes active steps to create awareness of environmental issues and climate change. By encouraging employees and customers to find new ways of reducing consumption and saving energy in their everyday lives, the Bank is setting an example for others to follow.

Meethaq hosts workshop on financial planning

MUSCAT, 29 March 2014 – Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, hosted a workshop on financial planning at the bank’s head office. The workshop addressed by Aisha Al Harthy, family and educational expert, covered topics such as financial planning and money management, personal budgeting and planning, consumerism and the relationship between financial and emotional well-being. Nominated staff from the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs attended the workshop.

 

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Bank Sohar Supports Earth Hour 2014

Muscat, March 26, 2014: Bank Sohar, in a show of its commitment in conserving the environment, will be switching off all lights in their premises in Muscat on Saturday, March 29, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm in support of the Earth Hour 2014. Bank Sohar is calling on all companies and people across the Sultanate to take up this simple action to protect the planet.


Highlighting the importance of supporting the Earth Hour, Ms. Munira Abdulnabi Macki, DGM Human Resource and Corporate Support at Bank Sohar noted, “Earth Hour isn’t just about turning lights off for an hour – it’s about people across the world coming together throughout the year to join forces to improve the planet. It is a symbolic action, an action and an initiative to encourage individuals and businesses to take accountability for their ecological footprint and kick start discussions to provide real solutions to our environmental challenges.”

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Meethaq, KFH-Bahrain sign MoU to promote Islamic banking opportunities

MUSCAT, 26 March 2014 – Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, and Kuwait Finance House – Bahrain, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that aims to support joint business opportunities in the Islamic banking sector. This relates to areas of treasury transactions, trade finance and capital markets, especially sukuk and syndications in Oman. In terms of inter-bank facility, the MoU addresses ‘WASI’, an overnight liquidity management product launched by KFH-Bahrain.


Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group General Manager – Meethaq Islamic Banking, and  Abdulhakeem Alkhayyat, Managing Director & CEO of KFH-Bahrain, signed the MoU in Manama, Bahrain. They expressed delight in signing the MoU as the culmination of mutual desire to work together in various fields of Islamic banking to develop new opportunities.


Sulaiman Al Harthy said: "The Sultanate of Oman is witnessing substantial growth in Islamic banking industry and we consider our partnership with KFH-Bahrain a great advantage to maximise favorable opportunities and thereby expand our coverage. In addition to that, it will support the position of Meethaq Group in the Islamic banking industry."

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Standard Chartered Bank hosts MENA Funds forum

Local, regional and international experts discuss the latest developments in the MENA Funds industry


Dubai, UAE – 25 March, 2014 – Standard Chartered recently hosted the first of a series of forums aimed at the development of the Mutual Funds industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Local, Regional and International experts in the field shared their views and discussed challenges and opportunities in the regional market. The event comes at a time when the industry is witnessing rapid developments notably as the MENA markets are increasingly becoming plugged into the global financial markets.

At the forum, 20 senior representatives from prominent regional Funds and Asset Managers acknowledged that the regulatory environment governing the Mutual Funds industry has evolved significantly over the past few years thus bringing additional maturity. Furthermore, the attendees highlighted the crucial role that regulators play to enable the development of the market and the introduction of innovative products to address the evolving investment needs of the market.

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Bank Muscat all set to announce 2014 FIFA World Cup™ package winners

MUSCAT, 25 March 2014 – The countdown for the first draw to pick the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ package winners in Oman has begun as Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, in association with Visa, is all set to announce the first batch of 21 winners to experience the thrills and excitement of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil. In all, 66 all-expenses-paid packages are on offer to witness the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ matches, including the finals, in Brazil.

In the first draw, the bank’s al Mazyona customers will win 9 packages, credit cardholders four packages, debit card holders four packages, asalah Priority Banking customers three packages and mobile banking customers one package. The exciting promotion started on 1 February and runs till 31 May, during which three draws will be held to select the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ package winners.

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Bank Sohar Sponsors Shooting Competition in Khaboura to Support Preservation of Tradition & Culture

Muscat, March 25, 2014: As a steadfast supporter of the Omani culture, Bank Sohar recently sponsored the ‘Al Khaboura Shooting Competition’ held in the village of Al Qasf. Oman is well known for its hospitality and commitment of its people towards the preservation of traditional culture and sports. Bank Sohar shares this very same ideology and is always keen to extend its support towards such events.

The competition was organized by the Al Khaboura Shooting Team and took place on March 22, in the Wilayat of Al Khaboura under the auspices of H.E. Mohammed AL Zubair, the Advisor to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for Economic Affairs. Representing Bank Sohar at the event were Mr. Salim Bin Khamis Al Maskry, Senior AGM Branches, Mr. Abdullah Al Mahmoodi, Chief Manager – Events & Promotion and Mr. Abdul Jalil Al Ajmi, Al Khaboura Branch Manager.

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Bank Sohar’s Al Mumayaz Saving Scheme Weekly Draw conducted at Qurum Branch

  • Customer from Azaiba Branch wins Al Mumayaz Savings Scheme OMR 5,000 Weekly Draw

Muscat, March 24, 2014: With Al Mumayaz Savings Scheme 2014 in full swing, Bank Sohar has now completed its fourth weekly draw of OMR 5,000 under the Al Mumayaz Savings Scheme on 20 March. The draw was conducted at the Bank’s Qurum Branch and witnessed Kashiful Huda and Falak Naz (Joint Account) from Azaiba Branch win OMR 5,000.  The event will be progressed during the year to promote the Al Mumayaz Savings Scheme in each of the bank’s 25 branch locations.

The weekly draw held at our prestigious Qurum branch was presided by Al Shaikh. Saif Hilal Ali Al Mamari, the Vice-President of the University of the Arab Countries at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Senior Retail functionaries present from the Bank’s side were Mr. R Narasimhan, DGM and Head of Retail Banking, and Mr. Salim Khamis Al Maskary, Sr. AGM of Branches, together with Mr. Mazin Mahmood Al Raisi, AGM and Head of Marketing and publicity, and Mr. Moosa Al Ajmi, Qurum Branch Head, welcomed the Chief Guest of Honour as well as the VIP customers of the Branch.

The event was inaugurated with a welcome speech by Mr. Redha Al Lawatia, Head of Retail liabilities at Bank Sohar providing an overview of the 2014 Savings Scheme. The Chief Guest, Al Shaikh. Saif Hilal Ali Al Mamari, then conducted the draw to announce the winner of the forth weekly draw.

On this occasion, Mr. R Narasimhan commented, “We at Bank Sohar are on a constant drive to find better ways in which to instil the savings habit in our customers. The new Al Mumayaz Savings Scheme is the culmination of our efforts for the current year. By capitalising on the tremendous popularity garnered by the scheme last year, we have tailored it to provide even better incentives to save by offering more prizes more frequently.”

In addition to the new Weekly OMR 5,000 draws, the Hourly OMR 1,000 draws make our scheme very unique; these are awarded every hour, five times a day from Sunday to Wednesday. Also introduced as part of the new scheme are the Monthly draws, which will witness a prize pool of OMR 50,000 where one winner will receive OMR 45,000, while five children will win OMR 1,000 each.

Furthermore, the Bank is also proud to announce Half-yearly prize draws worth more than a quarter of a Million Rials, with two lucky savers winning OMR 100,000 each, one exclusive winner receiving OMR 50,000 and one lucky minor receiving OMR 5,000. Meanwhile, the year-end Prize Draws now boasts a prize pool of over half a Million Rials, with one lucky saver winning OMR 500,000, one exclusive winner receiving OMR 50,000 and one lucky minor receiving OMR 5,000.

The Bank also has an extensive network of ATM’s totalling 50 machines across the Sultanate, with 29 in the branches and 21 ATMs located off-site. In addition, Bank Sohar customers continue to enjoy the privilege of free-of-charge access to over 650 ATMs under the ‘OmanNet’ platform. Bank’s ATMs at Buraimi and Wajajah borders continue to operate with the ‘Dirhams Dispensing’ facility; thus adding immense convenience to businessmen who travel and transact business across the border on a regular basis, as well as to customers who visit the United Arab Emirates. The bank’s customers also enjoy the advantage of a Cash Deposit facility at all branch ATMs as another value-added service.

For more information, please visit Bank Sohar’s official website at www.banksohar.net. You can also follow the Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/excel.banksohar, on Instagram at www.instagram.com/banksoharexcel or join the conversation on Twitter @banksohar_excel.

Bank Muscat presents Partners in Progress awards to merchants

MUSCAT, 24 March 2013 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, celebrated the 9th annual Partners in Progress awards ceremony as merchant partners were honoured for outstanding contributions to card business in 2013. AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, presented the awards to senior executives of winning institutions and companies covering a total of 31 categories ranging from government services to automobiles, airlines, telecommunications, hotels, hypermarkets and charities.

The Landmark Group won the Most Outstanding Merchant award as the Special Award winners for the government sector were the Royal Oman Police, the Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, and Muscat Municipality. The Special Merchant Contribution awards were won by Oman Oil, Oman Investment and Finance Company (OIFC) and Muscat Duty Free.

The 2013 Partners in Progress (PiP) award winners include LuLu Hypermarket (Hypermarkets), Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa (5 Star hotels), Nawras (Telecommunications), Damas (Jewellery), Al Fair (Supermarkets), Crowne Plaza (4 Star hotels), EXTRA (Electronics), Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (Automotive sales and Services), Oman Air (Airlines), Omantel (E-commerce services), Ajmal International (Perfumes and cosmetics), Muscat Private Hospital (Medical services), Apparel International (Clothing & fashion), Muscat Pharmacy (Pharmacies), AXA Insurance (Insurance services), Home r Us (Furniture), Elegant Rent A Car (Car rentals), Pizza Hut (Casual dining), Kargeen Café (Restaurants), Beauty Centre (Beauty salon & spas), Universal Travel and Tourism (Travel and Tourism), Al Khalili & Sons (Building material suppliers), Horizon Fitness & Beauty (Health & fitness centres).

AbdulRazak Ali Issa said: “The year 2013 was an exciting as well as challenging period for the bank’s Cards and eBanking team as merchant partners recorded a 54 per cent increase in card transactions volume and merchant outlets network grew by 30 per cent. The outstanding growth in figures reflects that electronic payment is fast becoming the preferred mode of payment in the Sultanate. The bank’s success in changing the customer payment behavior from ‘cash to card’ is encouraging. The Partners in Progress Award reflects this appreciation in tribute to our merchant partners and customers who have supported the bank to grow from strength to strength. The bank’s dynamic ‘Let’s Do More’ vision reflects the readiness to face future challenges.”

In 2013, the bank continued its journey of enhancing the electronic payment infrastructure in the country. Bank Muscat acquired the point of sale acquiring business from HSBC Oman, further consolidating the leadership position in the merchant acquiring business in the local market. A smooth transition of business was facilitated without any disruption of services to merchants formerly associated with HSBC Oman. The acquisition made an immediate positive impact to the merchants with many benefits, including state-of-the-art PoS terminals, electronic merchant statements and next day payments.

Tariq Atiq, AGM – Cards & eBanking, said: “Reflecting our commitment to providing the ‘Best in Class’ service, Bank Muscat continues to invest in cutting edge IT infrastructure, latest Point of Sale terminals and competent human resources available in the payments industry. It is this ‘dedication’ and ‘commitment to service’ that has made Bank Muscat the preferred electronic payment service provider to the nation. Our ability and flexibility to adapt, innovate and provide customised payment solutions have made us unique in the market.”

Bank Muscat has launched a number of exciting campaigns offering once-in-a-lifetime rewards to cardholders. Notably, Bank Muscat, in association with Visa, has been granted an exclusive positioning among 20 global banks chosen as official Retail Bank of 2014 FIFA World Cup™. Bank Muscat is the only financial institution in Oman to receive this unique privilege. Football enthusiasts in Oman will have the unique opportunity to experience the thrills and excitement of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ matches, including the finals, live in Brazil, as Bank Muscat, in association with Visa, is offering 66 all-expenses-paid packages to the bank customers.

Bank Muscat commenced card acquiring operations in 2002 and since then has crossed many milestones to become the largest acquirer and issuer of cards in Oman. As the leading electronic payment service provider in Oman, Bank Muscat has deployed over 10000 PoS terminals across the country to support e-payment and continues to expand rapidly.

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