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Four Omani banks make Forbes list among 50 most valuable banks in the Middle East


Forbes Middle East has revealed its ranking of the Middle East’s most valuable banks for 2023, recognising the region’s biggest banking heavyweights. Four Omani banks make among the list of the 50 most valuable banks in the Middle East in terms of market capitalisation for 2023.

The list includes Bank Muscat in 22nd place, Sohar International Bank in 45th place, Bank Dhofar in 46th place and National Bank of Oman in 47th place.

With a market value of $5.7 billion, Bank Muscat is ranked 22nd in the region. Established in 1982, Bank Muscat operates in six countries, with 173 branches in Oman, one branch each in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and three representative offices in the UAE, Singapore, and Iran.

The bank — headed by its CEO, Waleed Khamis al Hashar — is the largest in Oman by total assets, which stood at $33.2 billion in 2022. It has 2.4 million customers. In October 2022, the bank sold its 27.29% stake in SICO Capital KSA (previously Muscat Capital) and acquired an additional 2.76% stake in SICO Bahrain, increasing its stake to 13.14%. Bank Muscat is listed on the Muscat, London, and Bahrain Stock Exchanges, Forbes said.

Ranked 45th in the region, Sohar International Bank operates through a network of 30 commercial branches and nine Islamic branches in Oman. The bank, with a market value of $1.19 billion, is spearheaded by its CEO, Ahmed al Musalmi.

In November 2022, it established a branch in Riyadh, which is expected to be operational in 2023. In February 2023, Sohar International Bank received approval from the Central Bank of Oman for its proposed merger with HSBC Oman, which is expected to complete in the second half of 2023. In June 2022, the bank confirmed its commitment to pursue a possible merger with Bank Nizwa, Forbes noted.

Meanwhile, ranked 46th in the region is BankDhofar, led by the CEO Abdul Hakeem al Ojaili. With a market values of $1.18 billion, BankDhofar provides corporate, retail, and investment banking activities through a network of 75 branches, including 11 branches of its Islamic banking arm, Maisarah Islamic Banking Services.

In October 2022, it completed the issuance of $300 million in additional tier 1 bonds by way of private placement to investors. The bank’s net profits increased by 36% in 2022 to record $91 million. It had total assets of $11.5 billion as of the end of 2022.

The National Bank of Oman (NBO) also made it in the list at rank 47. NBO, with a market value of $1.1 billion, is being headed by its CEO, Abdullah Zahran al Hinai. NBO was established in 1973 to provide conventional and Islamic banking services.

NBO serves over 500,000 retail customers and 25,000 corporate and SME customers through 66 branches. The bank has two overseas branches in the UAE. In November 2022, it completed the issuance of $134.1 million in additional tier 1 capital securities. The bank had total assets worth $11.2 billion in 2022. The Commercial Bank of Qatar and the Omani Suhail Bahwan are among the bank’s major shareholders, with 34.9% and 14.75% stakes, respectively.

To construct the list, Forbes Middle East gathered data from listed stock exchanges in the Arab world and ranked companies based on their reported market value as of February 28, 2023.

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