x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

IPO offer by Oman's Bank Nizwa

Bank Nizwa, Oman's first Islamic lender, begins its initial public offering. Despite the fact that it has no branches and no customers, analysts expect strong demand.

Bank Nizwa, Oman's new Islamic lender, has embarked on an initial public offering on the Muscat Securities Market as it seeks to raise US$158.9 million (Dh583.6m).

The Islamic bank, which is not yet operational, was created by the sultanate's regulator last month as Oman moves to establish a Sharia-compliant banking industry.

"The proceeds of the offer will be used to settle the costs associated with setting up the bank, costs relating to the execution of the bank's business plan, such as leasing new branches, hiring staff, purchasing infrastructure and conduct its general business operations," the bank said.

Bank Nizwa is fitting out its head office and has branches planned for Muscat, Nizwa and Sohar.

The bank is expected to begin operations in the third quarter of the year, after the completion of its listing. It is selling 600 million shares, representing 40 per cent of its capital, at a price of 0.102 rials each. The remaining shares have been purchased by the bank's founders, including Sheikh Saud bin Ali Al Khalili and 92 other investors.

The IPO is open for subscription until May 22.

ghunter@thenational.ae

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