Oman Merchant Bank to launch in Q1
Oman Merchant Bank (OMB) will start operating in the first quarter after having sold 40 per cent of its capital to the public, Oman's central bank governor Hamoud Sangour al-Zadjali said on Saturday.
Dubai-based investment group Gulf Merchant Group has won central bank approval to set up the lender with an initial capital of 50 million rials ($129 million).
"The promoters are in the process of establishing the bank... We expect the bank to start operations during the first quarter," Zadjali told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.
"The bank will offer 40 per cent of capital to the public before starting operations," he added.
Gulf Merchant Group said in March it would retain a 35 per cent stake in the lender which would focus on retail lending to corporate clients. The shares would be listed on the Omani bourse, with a possible secondary listing in Dubai or London.
OMB will be the eighth commercial bank operating in Oman, where foreign players are also entering the fray.
Alliance Housing Bank, a mortgage bank, is set to start full-fledged commercial banking operations soon. Qatar National Bank opened its first branch in Muscat last week. (Reuters)
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