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Sun 6 Feb 2011 06:27 PM

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Bank Muscat shareholders ok $800m bond programme

Move will allow Oman’s largest lender to tap global bond markets, no date for issue set

Bank Muscat shareholders ok $800m bond programme

Shareholders of Bank Muscat, Oman's largest lender by market
value, on Sunday approved a new $800m bond programme, allowing the company to
tap international bond markets in the future.

Chief Executive Abdulrazak Ali Issa said after the
shareholders meeting that no date for a bond issue had yet been set but that
any potential issue could be in different currencies and sizes.

The Omani lender invited banks to bid on arranging a planned
bond issue under an $800m programme, IFR, a unit of Thomson Reuters, reported
last week.

Bond sales from the Gulf Arab region are expected to exceed
$30bn by some estimates as pent up global demand for regional paper spurs
borrowers to tap international capital markets. But political upheaval in Egypt
and contagion fears could dampen appetite.

Bank Muscat made fourth quarter profit of OR29.5m ($75.8m),
benefiting from a growth in loans and deposits and decreasing impairment
charges.

 

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