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Open Day for micro and small businesses with special bank muscat discount on credit

MUSCAT, 16 February 2016 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, has organised an exclusive Open Day for micro and small businesses to avail special discount on najahi business credit facilities. The 2-day event will be held on February 22 and 23 across five najahi centres in Bank Muscat head office at Airport Heights and branches in Ruwi Rex Road, Al Khuwair Souq, Seeb Souq and Barka Souq.

This is the first time a finance offer of this kind is being made available to micro and small businesses in Oman. The unique event 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.

Sadiq bin Mohammed Al Lawati, Head of Retail Enterprises, said: “The concept of the Open Day is to provide a unique opportunity for micro and small business entrepreneurs to avail special discount on business credit facilities at the designated centres. The unique opportunity reiterates the bank's commitment to extending the helping hand to micro and small businesses to fulfill their financial 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."

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.

Early on, Bank Muscat identified the opportunities and challenges faced by this vital segment to develop a relevant suite of products and services.

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.

Priority queuing facility is available for najahi customers at branches as also free access once a month to Maktabi Business Centres in Muscat. najahi customers are required to maintain a minimum account balance of RO 500.

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 the customer 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.

The first-of-its-kind najahi suite of products and services launched by Bank Muscat as part of its commitment to encourage entrepreneurial initiatives, has become a big hit with micro and small businesses, encouraging Omani youth to embark on entrepreneurial pursuits and thereby make vital contributions to the economy.

Serving micro and small business customers across the Sultanate, najahi centres are also available in Salalah Corporate branch, Buraimi branch, Nizwa Firq branch, Sohar Main branch and Sur branch.

Bank Muscat has launched a series of initiatives to strengthen 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.