AHB not traded for second day on demand surge

DUBAI — Shares of Oman’s Alliance Housing Bank , which received a takeover bid from Bank Muscat , did not trade for a second day yesterday after demand for the stock exceeded a daily trading limit.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Thu 10 May 2007, 9:07 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:59 PM

Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest lender by value, on Tuesday offered to buy Alliance, the only private mortgage company in Oman until the government allowed commercial banks last year to offer home loans, for 78.8 million rials ($204.7 million).

Alliance directors were due to meet yesterday to decide whether to accept Bank Muscat’s offer, Akbar Habib, chief executive of Oman National Investment Corp.(ONIC), Alliance’s largest shareholder, said on Tuesday.

ONIC shares gained 0.94 per cent yesterday, after surging almost the maximum allowed 10 per cent on Tuesday.

Oman’s bourse raised the price-rise limit for Alliance to 20 percent from 10 percent yesterday, bourse spokesman Ahmed al-Humeidi said, but asking prices still exceeded the maximum.

“We have raised the ceiling and still no one is willing to sell,” Humeidi told reporters. “People are asking for more than 20 per cent.”

The bourse would review the limit and possibly raise it again, Humeidi added, without saying what the new limit might be.

Alliance closed at 0.275 rial on Monday. The asking price yesterday was 0.331 rial.

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