Bank Muscat rules out sale of assets
Dubai, May 8, 2010
Bank Muscat, Oman's largest lender by market value, is not currently planning to sell any of its foreign assets, the bank said.
Two bank officials with knowledge of the matter said that Bank Muscat was considering selling off more foreign assets to reduce rising operational costs.
But Bank Muscat said it regularly explored strategic alternative moves and denied the report, stating that 'the bank confirms that it currently is not considering any sale of its strategic foreign investments.'
'In common with many organisations, Bank Muscat regularly explores strategic alternatives, however the Bank refutes a news release issued by Reuters on May 6,' the bank was quoted as saying by our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
A bank spokesman said the company considered all its foreign investments to be strategic.
Last year, Bank Muscat sold its 40 per cent stake in India's second largest lender HDFC Bank. The bank has a 49 per cent stake in BMI Bank in Bahrain, 35 per cent in Pakistan's SilkBank, 43 per cent stake in India's Mengal Keshav Holdings and 97 per cent in Muscat Securities House in Saudi Arabia.
Bank Muscat's net profits dropped by 50 per cent to RO24.5 million ($63.64m) in the first quarter.
The bank's shares ended up 0.34 per cent on the Muscat bourse on Thursday. – TradeArabia News Service