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Bank Muscat recognized by Hawkamah for benchmark corporate governance

MUSCAT, 25 June 2013 – For the third year running, Bank Muscat, the flagship financial institution in the Sultanate, has won a Hawkamah award in recognition of benchmark corporate governance practices. Ahmed Al Barami, AGM – Chairman’s Office, received the award at a ceremony in Dubai attended by senior bankers from the region.


Hawkamah is a regional initiative aimed at recognizing and encouraging superior governance practices in the banking sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The award jury commended Bank Muscat for adopting a unique approach to the areas of corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. The jury evaluated the various award criteria and interviewed a panel from the bank to decide the winner.

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, said: “Winning the Hawkamah award for the third year running is a unique achievement for Bank Muscat. The prestigious recognition for superior governance leadership serves as a model for banks in the region. Bank Muscat has absolute belief in and understanding of the key principles of corporate governance which is reflected in the way we do business. As the leading bank in the Sultanate, it is important that we set the standards and we have done this by creating a culture of openness, transparency and accountability, which are important for any organisation. The bank has an advantage in creating this culture which has helped the institution to progress steadily.”

AbdulRazak added: “The main advantage of advanced corporate governance is that it protects all stakeholders - from customers to creditors, to regulators, shareholders and staff. Because the GCC is a very competitive region, it is important that we create an advantage in this area so that we can continue to attract foreign investment. Investors looking at a company or country see strong corporate governance equating to stability, which is something they are looking at closely.”

In 2011, Bank Muscat also won the Corporate Governance Excellence award by Capital Market Authority (CMA). The bank has invested heavily in the assurance functions with certified internal auditors, financial risk managers, fraud examiners, anti-money laundering (AML) officers and compliance officers. The full suite of relevant policies in the areas of risk management, disclosures, AML and whistle-blowing has equipped the bank to flag an area of concern and thereby foster the culture of openness, transparency and accountability that is critical in today’s business environment.