Oman's Bank Dhofar gets $68m after court ruling overturned

Bank lost case in2011 against Oman International Bank, Ali Redha Trading and Muttrah Holding over ownership of 1.925m shares

Oman's Primary Court has returned OMR26.1m (US$67.8m) to Bank Dhofar, Oman's second-largest lender by market value, after an appeals court overturned a 2011 ruling against it, the bank said on Monday.

Bank Dhofar lost a court case in June 2011 against Oman International Bank and Ali Redha Trading and Muttrah Holding over the ownership of 1.925m Bank Dhofar shares and was forced to transfer the money to the court as a deposit.

The ruling was overturned by Oman's Appeals Court in March 2012.

"Bank Dhofar would like to announce to its shareholders and the investor community that it has received from the Primary Court in Muscat a cheque of OMR26.1m," a bourse filing from the bank said on Monday.

The bank's resulting provision had a significant impact on its earnings in 2011, contributing to a 58 percent drop in net profit versus the previous year.

Analysts said that under normal practices if the cash is received by March 31, the bank should be able to book that amount as a gain in its first-quarter results.

Such a boost could be significant, given that its net profit in the first six months of 2012 was OMR19.5m.

Bank Dhofar executives could not immediately be reached for comment.

The announcement was made after trading hours. Bank Dhofar shares closed 1.6 percent higher on Monday, against a flat wider market.

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