Merger between Oman’s two top banks delayed

MUSCAT - The much-talked about merger between Oman’s two top banks, BankMuscat and National Bank of Oman (NBO), has been delayed, BankMuscat sources said yesterday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 25 Dec 2004, 11:18 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:49 AM

“The merger, which was to take place on January 1, 2005, has been delayed for a while, but it remains on track. The process is moving forward”, the sources told AFP.

“The approval of the shareholders of the two banks is also in the offing in due course of time.”

The sources confirmed that NBO, Oman’s second largest bank, has sought more time in a letter to the Capital Market Authority (CMA), the sultanate’s capital market watchdog for the merger — set to be the largest in Oman’s history.

“At present, we have certain pending issues for which we are in discussion with BankMusact and we are also in the process of finalising the appointment of an independent auditor.

“On finalisation of these issues, we will provide the CMA with the timeframe of the merger.”

The letter said the bank had already appointed Al Alawi Mansoor Jamal & Company as its legal counsel for the purpose of the merger.

The “mega merger”, already approved by the CMA, Central Bank of Oman and the board of directors of the two banks, would make BankMuscat, the country’s largest.

Becoming a 6.65 billion dollars entity after the merger would make it a force to be reckoned with in the region, once approved.

BankMuscat has known mergers in the past, but it is first for NBO, which was once managed by the disbanded Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

“The merger is taking place for sure. It’s only a matter of some time”, stressed the BankMuscat sources.

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