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Bank Muscat committed to world class banking experience

MUSCAT, 23 November 2013 - Bank Muscat, the No. 1 bank in the Sultanate of Oman and ranked among the top 500 banks worldwide, enjoys an unrivalled position stemming from the global best practices pursued by the bank.

During the last 31 years since its inception in 1982, Bank Muscat has been closely associated with the progressive march of the nation. The development ethos espoused by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the leader of Oman's modern Renaissance, constitutes a fundamental element in the pursuit of banking excellence by the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate. A keen perception of customer requirements has enabled the bank to develop innovative products and services in line with the current and emerging needs, and thereby emerge as the bank of first choice in Oman.

Bank Muscat offers the complete range of innovative banking products and services to the largest banking family in Oman. The bank has an extensive network of 138 branches in Oman, as well as direct and indirect presence in all six GCC states, including a branch each in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as an office in Singapore which focuses on financial institutions and trade business. With the best and most knowledgeable team in the country, Bank Muscat remains committed to providing a world class banking experience.

Endowed with a global outlook, Bank Muscat remains Omani at heart. Epitomising the distinct Omani heritage, Bank Muscat has evolved during the past three decades to become a towering presence in the banking sector. As a forward looking financial institution, Bank Muscat strives to establish its leadership role in all realms of activities as it is committed to the development and progress of Omani citizens and society vis-à-vis its operations. The bank posted a net profit of RO 102.51 million for the 9-month period ending 30 September 2013 period.

Corporate banking.

As the leading corporate bank in Oman, strong customer relationship remains fundamental to growth of corporate business. The bank believes that continued focus on delivering service excellence and quality services will sustain the competitive edge.

In Project & Structured Finance, the bank maintains its leadership position by playing an integral part in large-scale and key infrastructure projects. These include projects in key sectors such as oil & gas, petrochemicals, shipping, real estate, aviation and power & water. 

In step with the government's focus to develop the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, Bank Muscat has taken several strategic steps to encourage an entrepreneurial culture in Oman. al Wathbah, Bank Muscat's SME department, has been very dynamic in financing businesses and strengthening the SME foundation in Oman. Serving as building blocks for existing and prospective entrepreneurs, these initiatives assume importance in the backdrop of the priority accorded by the government to develop the SME sector in Oman.

Retail Banking

Fulfilling dreams, Oman's flagship al Mazyona Savings Scheme continues to cast its spell on citizens and residents. al Mazyona customers have plenty of reasons to smile throughout the year, thanks to the scheme that offers guaranteed winning chances for customers in all governorates. With RO 7 million prize money in 2013, al Mazyona offers one of the biggest prize money in the savings scheme history in Oman and the region. Momentum has started building up for the RO 1 million al Mazyona year-end grand prize which will be shared by 10 customers covering all the governorates, including one Priority Banking customer, who will receive RO 100,000 each.

Aimed at supporting lifestyle and encouraging savings habit among youth, the Shababi (Youth) savings account is the first banking package in Oman targeted at the country's youth in the age group of 18 to 25 years who are pursuing higher education in university/ colleges.

The bank's Sayyarati is the preferred auto loan product in Oman and baituna home finance remains committed to facilitating a home for every family.

Bank Muscat enjoys an edge in hi-tech products and services, including electronic payment and web-based services, in tune with Oman moving towards a cashless society and meeting the banking requirements of a young, tech-savvy generation.

The bank believes eBanking will have a major role in the future of banking in Oman. The bank launched Oman's first mobile banking application - mBanking – which allows customers to avail a host of banking services. The bank won the coveted His Majesty's Award for Excellence in eGovernance in recognition of mBanking services.

The bank's sales department - Sa'ed ¬- which in Arabic means 'to help' reaches out to customers at their doorstep. Sa'ed reaches out and meets the requirements of customers at their levels, wherever they may be, irrespective of they being individuals, government or private sector customers.

Human Resources Management

The bank accords top priority for human resources development and over the years has adopted innovative strategies to equip Omani staff to take up leadership positions in tandem with future challenges. Scripting benchmark human resources development processes, the bank has developed a comprehensive Learning & Development strategy for skill and knowledge enhancement vis-à-vis the requirement of various departments. The multi-skill development programmes have benefited a large number of staff.

Bank Muscat has a high level of commitment towards its people, encouraging them to take ownership and responsibility and contribute to the growth of the organisation. The bank continuously invests to build human capacity and create career opportunities for highly-qualified Omani nationals. The bank has been able to derive maximum mileage out of its HR processes as most of its middle and senior management cadres are drawn from within the bank.

Presently, a total of 3317 employees are working with the bank with the Omanisation level at 93.67 per cent. The bank offered a wide range of learning and development opportunities this year as 455 programmes presented over 5,234 learning opportunities, including overseas programmes.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Bank Muscat is the first Omani bank to establish a full-fledged CSR department. Considered among core values, the CSR policy stems from the bank's strong belief in the importance of social responsibility. It reflects the bank's concern and care for various segments of society. The bank is of the view that its social responsibility is not merely participation in charitable works and organisation of voluntary campaigns, but responsibility towards all-round development of society.

The future of Oman belongs to its youth. In recognition of this, the bank launched Jesr Al Mustaqbal (Bridge to Future) scholarship programme aimed at supporting underprivileged youth with educational opportunities across banking, accounting, IT, finance and vocational disciplines. The programme combines both educational scholarship and vocational training support.
Aimed at developing a sporting nation, the bank launched Green Sports, a unique CSR initiative contributing to sustainable development and benefiting communities across Oman, especially youth. Sports teams and clubs across Oman are identified to green their playgrounds as part of the Green Sports programme. The bank recognises that local clubs wield immense influence on neighborhood communities, especially youth; hence clubs with modern infrastructure facilities can help raise sporting heroes for the country. The initiative is in line with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which has included Green Sports in its current 10-year program: Resolution 2997 XXVII.
Meethaq Islamic Banking
Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman, is well positioned to provide Islamic financial expertise to diverse segments and thereby promote the good of society as a whole. The Meethaq suite of banking products combine traditional values with modernity.
Bank Muscat is the first commercial bank in Oman to receive CBO's approval and begin independent Islamic banking window operations. The bank has invested in staff, systems and controls to ensure the service is delivered in a professional, segregated and fully Shari'a compliant manner.
Every Meethaq product goes through a process of Shari'a compliance certification by the Shari'a Supervisory Board, in line with the guidelines of the Central Bank of Oman.
Meethaq stands out for its independent Shari'a Supervisory Board, separate capital allocation from shareholders' money, unique risk management tools, complete fund segregation, separate books of account, core banking system which supports Islamic banking operations, stand-alone Islamic banking branches and proper profit distribution mechanism among investment account holders/depositors. The adoption of AAOIFI standards (Accounting & Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions) distinguishes Meethaq Islamic banking practices in terms of standardisation of products and services.
All strategic achievements of the bank earned high commendations as endorsed by prestigious foreign, regional and local awards. Following 31 years of successful growth, the Sultanate's flagship bank is poised to further consolidate its leading position. The 'Let's Do More' vision reflects the strategy for the coming period as the bank is well positioned to generate synergies between various business units.
The outlook for Oman's economy is positive and in view of the government commitment to infrastructure development and industrialisation, Bank Muscat anticipates considerable growth opportunities in the coming years.