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A bright path to open for Middle East businesswomen

Albert Fahil

National Bank of Oman won the award for Bank of The Oman for 2012 earlier this week. The bank was adjudged by The Banker magazine for the prestigious award and the related ceremony was held in London. Meanwhile Nawras launched its Maktabi Mobile for small business this week. It is the first introduction of this type of mobile services which is the first mobile voice and mobile data packaged. The customers of Nawras can have multiple communication services via this small box size mobile and it is available from any Nawras outlet in the Kingdom.

Earlier this week, as per a royal directive Muscat Municipality called in Tenders to build infrastructure valued of 533Km. The priority will be given to build network of roads in six wilayats of Muscat governorate. The project is one of the infrastructure development schemes proposed with the five year plan. Meanwhile, Oman is adjudged as the regional centre for cyber security by 21 countries when they selected Oman’s National Computer Emergency Readiness Team (OCERT) for the said task. OCERT and The International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threat (IMPACT) – an arm of the UN International Telecommunication Union (TCU) signed the MoU in this regard earlier this week.

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Bank Muscat Al Hamra branch customer wins deposit unit prize

MUSCAT, 19 December 2012 – Bank Muscat customer Muslem Sarahan Ali Al Hattali from Al Hamra branch won RO 10,000 prize money in the 2012 third quarter draw of the innovative deposit product Sanadat Al Edikhar.

For each Sanadat Al Edikhar deposit unit held by customers, he/she gets one chance to win the following prizes. They can increase the winning chances by purchasing additional units of the high yielding deposit instrument.

Win back your Deposit: During every quarter, one customer wins one deposit unit equivalent of cash - RO 10,000 - through prize draw. The quarterly prize of RO 10,000 will be given away during the first three quarters every year throughout the 5-year term.

Win RO 200,000: During the last quarter, a draw will be held to pick the winner of RO 200,000. This prize will be given away during the first four years of the product term.

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BankDhofaroffers exclusive Housing loan rate at The Home Show 2012

18 December 2012, Muscat, BankDhofar is set to exhibit at the The Home Show 2012with a 4% Housing loan rate exclusively available to all attendees.BankDhofar has made this low rate available to encourage our community to invest in the property market and their future.

With the lowest Housing loan rate in the market, BankDhofar is empowering attendees to own their dream home and to own their future. They are dedicated to the development of the home environment and our community. It’s important that we can live in the comfort of our own homes and have a foot on the property investment ladder.

With BankDhofar you can get into your dream home quicker. We ask you, what can you do in 5 days? You could plan your winter vacation. You could learn to swim. Or you can own your dream home in just 5 working days with a BankDhofar Housing loan. Not only that, but once you are in your dream home, BankDhofar offers flexible repayment options up to 30 years and the lowest insurance premiums to ensure your home is protected.

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Excitement builds up as 3rd prize draw of Bank Muscat Shopping Festival held

MUSCAT, 18 December 2012 – Excitement of the 3rd Bank Muscat Shopping Festival is on the peak curve as the third weekly prize draw was held at the bank’s head office in which 30 winners, including citizens and residents, won RO 300 each. Spreading the festival cheer, 90 Bank Muscat cardholders have already won RO 300 each while chances await 60 more customers to win the attractive cash prize. In all, five weekly draws were lined up by Bank Muscat offering RO 300 each for 150 winners. Thirty winners are selected every week and a total of RO 45,000 will be given away in prize money during the 41-day shopping extravaganza which runs till 31 December.

The mechanism for the weekly prize draw is that for every Bank Muscat card transaction worth RO 10 spent at participating merchant outlets, customers get a chance to win. Each transaction is equal to one chance, thus the more they use their card, the better their chances to win. Entries for the draw will be captured electronically.

For the third year, the festival is supported by Visa International. Extending a strong support to the government’s e-Governance initiative, the festival encourages customers to pay by cards, underscoring the fact that payment by cards is both convenient and secure. More than 250 brand partners and over 500 outlets are participating in the festival.

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Meethaq well positioned to provide Islamic banking expertise to diverse segments

MUSCAT, 17 December 2012 - Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, recorded a momentous year in 2012, bracing itself for innovative Islamic banking operations, subject to approval from the Central Bank of Oman. With the Royal Decree issued by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, establishing Islamic banking operations, Meethaq is well positioned to provide Islamic financial expertise to diverse segments and thereby promote the good of society as a whole.

Hailing the Royal Decree, Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group General Manager – Islamic Banking, said: “The Royal decree on amendments to the banking sector laws reflects the attention accorded by His Majesty to achieve stability, prosperity and development in Oman. The Royal decree is in harmony with the modern stage of the renaissance and compatible with values of the community and its principles. His Majesty’s vision encapsulates the roadmap for the present as well as the future of the development march in the Sultanate encompassing all fields.”

Al Harthy added: “The creation of an efficient and effective private sector capable of participating in the economical and social development process and able to compete globally is a major achievement under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The Royal Decree creates an environment suitable for the smooth functioning and development of Islamic banking in Oman.The Islamic finance industry is growing very rapidly worldwide and this is a great opportunity for new Islamic banks as well as conventional banks to come together and create an environment which should make all of us proud, balanced with the Sharia Law, Central Bank of Oman’s guidelines, public demands and expectation, and the rule of law, as a whole. His Majesty's focus on the development of Oman with preservation of the identity, fundamentals and values, serve as a source of pride for all Omanis. In keeping with Islamic tenets, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has given the consent to practice Islamic banking in Oman to fulfill the financial needs of different segments of society, which will positively contribute to the overall development of Oman.”

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Standard Chartered opens Al Qurum Branch

Standard Chartered Oman held an official branch opening ceremony for the new Al Qurum branch on 15th December, 2012. His Excellency, Hamoud Sangour, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman, joined by His Excellency Jamie Bowden, British Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman led the inauguration and key clients from Priority banking, Corporate, and SME attended the ceremony.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Lamin Manjang, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Oman said, " It gives me great pleasure to open our third branch in Oman. Standard Chartered has been in this country for 44 years since 1968 and has served generations of customers and well-established companies that have contributed to the Oman's economy, through both good and challenging times. We are committed to being here for our customers in meeting their financial and banking  needs. Through our international expertise and local capability, we will continue to deliver world class products and services to our customers and local businesses, building our distribution network to provide greater access and convenience. As our brand promise states, we are here for good, here for the people, and here for the long run”.

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Bank Muscat, LuLu join hands to train 40 Omani youth

MUSCAT, 16 December 2012 - Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, as part of its Jesr Al Mustaqbal (Bridge to Future) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, has joined hands with LuLu Hypermarket to equip 40 young Omanis with the necessary skills to develop their careers and contribute to national development. On successful completion of a 3-month training programme, the Omani youth, including women, from low-income families in Dakhiliyah and Dhofar governorates will be absorbed by LuLu for various jobs in its outlets.

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Standard Chartered holds Liquidity Management Seminar

Bank to launch enhanced cash and liquidity management tools

United Arab Emirates, 16 December, 2012 – Standard Chartered recently held a client conference focusing on liquidity management, which is the lifeblood of organisations. “Managing Liquidity in a Dynamic economic Environment” was an exclusive event attended by a select group of senior finance and treasury executives to discuss optimization of cashflow and working capital management. The Bank also presented and discussed with clients its plans to revamp its cash and liquidity management platform during the first quarter of 2013.

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Bank Muscat launches instant online T-PIN for phone banking

MUSCAT, 15 December 2012 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, has enhanced phone banking services, launching an online facility for instant generation of T-PIN (telephone personal identification number). The new facility eliminates the need to wait for few days to manually collect T-PINs from respective branches. Customers can now contact the Call Centre on 24795555 and instantly generate T-PINs of their own choice over the call.

The ease of instant generation of T-PIN over a call leads to flexibility to carry out phone banking transactions 24x7. Offering convenience and flexibility, Bank Muscat phone banking services are prompt, easy and secure with the fully secured T-PIN.

Using the robust integrated voice response (IVR) system, Bank Muscat phone banking customers can help themselves to obtain information or make requests for services and products. The IVR facility offers prompt language options in Arabic and English as callers are required to follow the audio instructions after contacting the Call Centre. The instructions to punch the relevant number facilitate the respective options to obtain information and services. Notably, customers can report card loss and themselves hotlist or block their cards through the IVR system.

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