Oman’s largest bank, Bank Muscat, announced Tuesday a 4.4 percent decline in net profits to $21.6 million for the first half of 2001 from $22.6 million over the same period of last year, reported the Gulf Daily News.
But bank chairman Abdul Malik bin Abdullah Al Khalili said he remained optimistic.
The outlook for the second half of the year appears good, with corporate banking activities set to increase, he noted in a statement, cited by the paper.
Bank Muscat, which has a 35 percent share of the domestic market, is now seeking to expand overseas operations via mergers, acquisitions and strategic investments, the chairman said.
This statement was close on the heels of finalizing a deal to acquire ABN Amro’s Bahrain operations.
Bank Muscat has made a higher provision of almost $13 million against possible loan losses during the first half of the current year, compared to $8.3 million for the first half of 2000, Khalili said.
However, the bank's loans and advances portfolio grew by 8.8pc to $2.794 billion by the end of June from $2.567 billion by mid-2000 – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )