MUSCAT, 9 June 2012 — BankMuscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, for the second consecutive year has been ranked the Best Bank in Oman by Business Today magazine. The Bank scored 34 more points to win the top position in the 2011 banking survey conducted by Ernst & Young, exhibiting the best performance in return on capital, tighter controls on non-performing loans (NPLs) and healthy growth in deposits.
BankMuscat has an iron grip as for the second consecutive year, it has emerged on top with a healthy balance in lending and tighter controls on non-performing assets, the magazine noted.
AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, said: “The top ranking highlights BankMuscat's performance and strategic initiatives which have helped sustain its growth trajectory. We are delighted to note that all our efforts are being noticed and acknowledged as the bank is the recipient of almost all the prestigious foreign, regional and local awards and accolades. Consistently winning prestigious awards helps BankMuscat to set benchmarks in performance. Year on year, the bank adopts new initiatives to stretch its operational excellence. A keen perception of customer requirements enables the Bank to remain focused on developing products and services in line with the current and emerging needs."
AbdulRazak added: “Going forward, BankMuscat will ensure it retains the competitiveness while at the same time boosting earnings without compromising on product and service quality. Any increase in operating expense will be in line with the long-term vision and strategy to develop the banking infrastructure by way of technology investments, expansion of business and delivery channel network to provide better service and maintain the Bank's competitive edge in the market."
Despite the increased lending, BankMuscat maintained tighter controls on its NPL that fell 15.23 per cent in 2011 to RO 149 million and was rated the best in this parameter in the industry. In 2010, the Bank's NPL decline was around 13 per cent.
In recent years, the Bank embarked on expansion of channels and business lines which resulted in operating expenses increase. However, the cost to income ratio in 2011 was one of the best in the banking industry. The Bank continues to focus on operating efficiency and productivity to add value to stakeholders, the magazine noted.
So far in 2012, BankMuscat has continued its sound performance by exhibiting a 20 per cent increase in first quarter net profit that rose to RO 33.4 million from the year ago period, with net loans and advances rising by 24.7 per cent to RO 4.988 billion, the magazine added.