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Wed 31 Dec 2014 01:44 PM

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Bank Muscat sells Oman brokerage business to Gulf Baader

Oman's largest lender says brokerage unit will stop operating on Feb 10 and will then be transferred

Bank Muscat sells Oman brokerage business to Gulf Baader

Bank Muscat, Oman's largest lender, has sold its brokerage business to Gulf Baader Capital Markets, a brokerage firm based in the sultanate, the lender said.

The decision to sell the business was due to the bank's review of "strategic alternatives and operational priorities", it said in a statement on Tuesday. Bank Muscat did not give a figure for the value of the sale.

The bank's brokerage unit will stop operating on February 10, with customers being notified of the transition process during the transfer of the unit to Gulf Baader.

Bank Muscat said in June it was considering a sale of the unit as one of several options for the business.

The lender does not break out the financial performance of the brokerage business in its annual reports. The division provides stock broking services to foreign and domestic clients, including emerging market institutional investors, according to its website.

According to stock exchange data, Bank Muscat's brokerage had the third biggest share of Oman securities trading last year with 10.6 percent. The total value of securities trading in 2013 was 239.1 million rials ($623 million).

Gulf Baader Capital Markets manages assets of more than $140 million and has lead-managed several initial public offers, according to its website.

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