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Bank Muscat najahi Open Day for micro and small businesses begins today

MUSCAT, 4 March 2017 - Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, has organised an Open Day for micro and small businesses, which begins today (Sunday 5 March) across the network of branches in the Sultanate. The unique 5-day event from 5 to 9 March by najahi Retail Enterprises department comes in line with the bank's 'Let's Do More' vision and commitment to partnership in strengthening the role of micro and small businesses to play an important role in diversifying the Sultanate's economy and creating job opportunities for Omani youth.

The Open Day turns the spotlight on innovative products and services available for micro and small businesses, reiterating the bank's commitment to extending the helping hand to fulfill their financial and advisory needs. In step with responsible banking, the focus of Bank Muscat is clear – create a sustainable financial platform for the nation and people and thereby contribute to the country's progress and development. Committed to supporting economic growth and sustainable development, the bank seizes every opportunity to reiterate partnership in building the nation by creating opportunities for individuals and businesses to grow and prosper.

Serving micro and small business customers, exclusive najahi centres are available across the Sultanate. Facilitating financial inclusion, Bank Muscat najahi products and services have created a benchmark, helping micro and small businesses to overcome hurdles and chart successful ventures with proper planning, financial discipline and prudent management.

Securing credit without collaterals and accessing innovative banking services have been hurdles faced by micro and small businesses. The specially designed najahi products mainly include credit facilities without collaterals to develop and grow micro and small businesses. With najahi, Bank Muscat fulfills the primary need of finance for the micro and small business segment.

The najahi suite of products include the value added najahi Current Account, najahi Flexi Loan to support working capital, business expansion and other business needs; najahi Business Credit Card; najahi Contractors Loan to help complete contracted jobs; najahi Contractors Bill Discounting to get immediate funds after completing contracted jobs and Najahi PoS Receivables financing for customers who use PoS machines for their sales.

The value added najahi Current Account offers differentiated services, including Business Debit Card, branded cheque book, priority queuing at branches, free access to Maktabi Business Centres and online banking services.

The najahi Business Debit Card offers a daily withdrawal limit of RO 1000. The higher withdrawal limit helps customers to meet day-to-day cash requirements. najahi customers can also avail multiple debit cards on the same account allowing authorised persons to make transactions on behalf of the company.

Maintaining cash flow is a challenge faced by small businesses. Addressing this critical need, Bank Muscat launched the first-of-its-kind najahi Flexi Loan facility. This facility gives customers the power to choose when to avail the loan and for what period. Customers pay interest only when they actually avail the loan and not when the facility is granted.

For very short term financing, the bank has launched najahi point of sale (PoS) receivables financing. The specially designed short-term finance facilitates the working capital requirements of small businesses and helps maintain the cash flow.

The key features of najahi PoS receivables financing include short tenor (ranging from one to six months) with daily installment repayments. A small amount is automatically deducted daily from customers' bank account to repay loan. The evergreen facility allows najahi customers to keep repaying and replenishing the loan, thereby ensuring assured cash flow

As with other najahi credit facilities, customers are not required to provide any collateral guarantee for PoS receivables financing. The convenience and speed of najahi PoS receivables finance help customers to meet their urgent requirement of funds. In a quick and hassle free process, najahi customers with 1-year PoS track record are eligible to avail the collateral-free finance.

Bank Muscat has launched a series of initiatives covering all segments of the SME sector in Oman. Serving as building blocks for entrepreneurs, these initiatives assume importance in the backdrop of the priority accorded by the government to develop the SME sector in Oman. The bank's al Wathbah SME department offers a comprehensive suite of tailor-made finance solutions and non-financial services targeted at small and medium enterprises.

Further support is extended through non-financial services in areas of education, coaching, networking opportunities and workshops. One such example is the bank's al Wathbah Academy. The objective of this ongoing educational initiative is to impart the required skills and guidance for entrepreneurs drawn from diverse fields to embark on successful SME business ventures.