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Sun 22 Nov 2009 12:23 PM

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The Middle East’s 25 smartest banks-BankMuscat

The Middle East’s 25 smartest banks-BankMuscat

BankMuscat is seen by many as the very heart of the Omani banking system, and therefore of the state's entire economic system. And while others may be ailing, BankMuscat is a picture of health - which is of course good news for Oman.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts estimate that Oman's real economic growth rate will "continue to be relatively healthy, at four percent this year and 5.4 percent in 2010".  And while that's down from an estimated 6.2 percent in 2008, BankMuscat was recently recommended by investment bank EFG Hermes.

The Egyptian investment giant cited the firm's "commanding market share of 44 percent of the banking sector's assets and 42 percent of the total banking sector's deposits in Oman - almost three times as big as its closest competitor".

BankMuscat has also been boosted as Dubai Financial Group's (DFG) recent fifteen percent stake purchase in the firm, making it the second largest shareholder behind The Royal Court Affairs, a Sultanate of Oman's governmental body, "is likely to contribute to the development of [the bank's] franchise in the longer term both domestically and abroad."

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