Wholistic banking experience

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, Bank Muscat talks about the all-round performance of the bank in financial year 2016. An OER interview

How was your bank’s financial performance in 2016?

Bank Muscat-1Bank Muscat maintained leadership with a 38 per cent market share of assets and posted a net profit of RO176.56mn for the year ended December 31, 2016. The basic earnings per share was sustained at RO0.067 in 2016. The bank’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 16.90 per cent as on December 31, 2016 after appropriation for the dividend for 2016 against the minimum required level of 12.625 per cent as per Basel III regulations issued by the Central Bank of Oman.

Can you talk about the measures taken to enhance retailing, ATM and CDM networks of the bank?

Bank Muscat provides an unrivalled experience to personal banking customers with the right mix of traditional and electronic channels. With the largest network of branches, ATMs and CDMs across the Sultanate, the bank is focused on migrating customers from the conventional channels to alternate channels, especially online and mobile banking platforms. Committed to promoting a healthy savings habit, al Mazyona savings scheme retained the prize money of RO10mn in 2017.

How was your retail and corporate lending during the year?

Net loans and advances from conventional operation increased by 6.1 per cent to RO7,102mn as against RO6,695mn as at December 31, 2015.

What about the measures taken to support SMEs?

Bank Muscat has initiated a series of innovative programmes benefiting 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. Credit facilities, both short-term and long-term in nature, are available to all sectors, including micro and small businesses. 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.

How was the performance of your Islamic finance window during
the year?

Within just four years of operations, Meethaq has attained the leadership position in the Islamic banking industry in Oman with financing receivables rising to RO855mn as of December 31, 2016. The banking sector in Oman is witnessing the consolidation of Islamic banking and Meethaq is focused on redefining Islamic banking experience in Oman. Meethaq recorded many achievements contributing to the growth and development of the Sultanate’s economy.

What were the major HR initiatives taken by the bank?

Bank Muscat reckons its competent people as key strength and is focused on moulding them to make vital contributions to the bank’s growth and success. The bank plays a strategic role in the development of Omani talent and is committed to investing in improving their skills and expertise. Jadara, a unique talent development programme launched by the bank to build a potential leadership pipeline, continues to serve as the platform for all human resources training and development programmes in the bank.

What are the future plans to enhance operational efficiency?

Bank Muscat is focused on product innovation and improved level of service for customers, thereby making a difference in banking excellence. The dynamic ‘Let’s Do More’ vision roadmap reflects the readiness to face future challenges and sums up the bank’s confidence and determination to stretch the boundaries in banking excellence. The bank’s focus for the coming year is to maintain performance momentum.

What are your thoughts on financial year 2017?

The 9th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) provides room for the private sector to participate in infrastructure projects which will continue to give a fillip to the economy as well as generate employment opportunities.

Please highlight the CSR activities undertaken by the bank?

Leading by example is the forte of Bank Muscat. As the nation marked the 46th National Day commemorating the glorious achievements of Oman under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, the bank launched Imprints, a first-of-its-kind social responsibility initiative aimed at making distinct imprints for the nation.

Highly ambitious in its scope and reach, the Imprints initiative is a unique public-private partnership in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Tourism, Muscat Municipality and the Public Authority for Consumer Protection.

The Imprints for the nation initiative include four key programmes to inculcate financial literacy, promote sustainable tourism, sustain green environment and encourage enriched lifestyle. The objective of Imprints is to unite the people in making a big difference in reciprocating to what the country has given them. The concurrent themes are linked to diversifying the economy and engaging the community to develop prudent personal finance and spending habits.

Green Sports: Among the ongoing CSR initiatives by the bank, Green Sports has proven to be a thoroughly successful model for engaging the local community in establishing a modern sporting infrastructure in the country. The support to promote the national game of football complements the government efforts in building a sporting nation. To date, Green Sports has benefitted 63 teams across the Sultanate.


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