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Sun 1 Apr 2007 04:34 PM

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GMG will launch new bank in Oman

Gulf Merchant Group, an investment banking and asset management group, is to launch a retail and commercial bank in Oman by the end of the year.

Gulf Merchant Group, an investment banking and asset management group, is to launch a retail and commercial bank in Oman by the end of the year.

The Oman Merchant Bank (OMB) will be capitalised at a minimum of OMR50m (US$129.9m), and will hold an IPO on the Muscat Securities Market.

HH Al Sayyid Asaad Bin Tariq Al Said, chairman of OMB, said: "We are seeing a gradual opening of the Omani economy that is creating an investment-friendly environment to attract much-needed foreign direct investment into the Sultanate. OMB's focus on corporate and investment finance means that the bank will be well poised to capitalise on the opportunities created by these important developments."

Factors behind the decision to launch include the strong performance of the Omani economy, deregulation and upcoming privatisations, and expected changes in wealth management.

Nabil Maaloul, CEO of Gulf Merchant Group, said: "We are delighted to be given this opportunity to participate in the growth of the Omani economy by providing vital corporate and investment banking services. We are also considering a secondary listing on a reputable international exchange such as London or Dubai's DIFX to allow regional investors to participate in a bank we believe will become an important player in the Omani economy."

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