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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