As a means of attracting investments from Indian expatriates living in Oman, Bank Muscat plans to launch a joint venture with a private Indian bank, reported AFP news agency on Monday, August 20.
Bank Muscat, the largest in Oman holding a 35 percent market share in the Sultanate’s market, has only one branch operating in Bangalore, India. The branch is expected to merge with the acquired bank to form a joint venture, whose focus will be mainly on non-resident Indian businesses and finances.
Official figures show that approximately 25 percent of Oman’s population of two million are foreigners, most of which are from India.
The bank is currently under negotiations with several Indian banks, and plans to make an acquisition either through settling a deal with the major shareholders of the bank or through the priority allotment route.
The net profits of Bank Muscat fell 4.4 percent to 8.316 Omani Rials ($21.6 million) in the first half of 2001 compared with the corresponding period of 2000. Total assets, however, rose 3.4 percent to RO 1.3 billion ($3.479 billion) from last year’s end of June figure of $3.365 billion.
According the bank’s chairman, Abdul Malik bin Abdullah al-Khalili, the bank is currently seeking to further expand its overseas operations through additional mergers, acquisitions and strategic investments. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )