HSBC gets formal approval for Oman merger

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HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, will own 51 percent of the new entity.

HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, will own 51 percent of the new entity.

HSBC Holdings has received formal regulatory approval to merge its business in Oman with local lender Oman International Bank, it said in a statement to the Muscat stock exchange on Sunday.

The combined entity, named HSBC Bank Oman, begins operations today after gaining assent from the sultanate's Ministry of Commerce & Industry, with shares in the bank to trade from Monday under the HBMO.OM ticker, the statement said.

HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, will own 51 percent of the new entity.

Simon Cooper, chief executive of HSBC Middle East and North Africa, has been named chairman of HSBC Bank Oman, with Ewan Stirling appointed as chief executive, the statement said.

Waleed Omer Abdul-Monem Al Zawawi, previously a director on the OIB board, was named deputy chairman. Two other members of OIB's current board, including its chairman, Juma Ali Juma Al Juma, will sit on the merged entity's board.

The Gulf Arab state had briefly halted the merger after a creditor of the British bank filed an objection to the tie-up citing a pending lawsuit.

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