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NBO names Dubai Bank chief as CEO

Muscat, January 27, 2010

National Bank of Oman (NBO) said on Wednesday it named Dubai Bank head Salam Al Shaksy as its new chief executive, as the sultanate's third-largest lender seeks to bolster its international profile.

An Omani national, Al Shaksy will replace Murray Sims, whose contract expired, at the helm of NBO, the bank said in statement.

No replacement for Al Shaksy at Dubai Bank has been announced. Dubai Bank was not available to comment.

'I'm basically going home. NBO was very persistent and they made me a convincing offer,' Al Shaksy told Reuters in a phone interview. 'NBO used to be the number one bank in the country, maybe this is the chance to reclaim the past glory,' he said.

Omani banks in recent years have grown rapidly on the back of a regional oil-driven boom, but growth slowed as a result of the global credit crunch.

NBO has branches in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Around 35 per cent of the bank is owned by Commercial Bank of Qatar.

'We are going to go in and see what the opportunities are and where we can capitalise,' Al Shaksy said. 'NBO is a solid franchise, a solid brand, it has branches in Egypt and the UAE, it is well positioned to grow, the issue is to find what it takes to build on that,' he said.

Al Shaksy, who has a degree in management and economics from Boston University, is the former deputy chief executive at Bank Dhofar, the country's second-largest bank by market value.

'Salam has got the right attitude to do this work, this is a positive move to have an Omani chief executive for the bank, he's very much respected in Omani business and banking circles,' said Sayed Quadry, vice-president of business development at Amwal Investment in Muscat.

Earlier in January, NBO reported a 38-percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit as loan activity and deposits slowed.

'NBO suffered from the global recession but doesn't have any weaknesses, I think his role is to give the bank a more international image,' Quadry said. NBO shares were up 0.3 per cent at 0732 GMT.-Reuters




Tags: Dubai Bank | chief | National Bank of Oman |

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