Muscat: Commercial banks in Oman performed well during the first quarter of 2017 despite the difficult economic challenges facing the global banking sector.
Net profits at the six commercial banks listed on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) increased to OMR87.4 million, from OMR85.9 million during the same period last year. The banks also posted growth in their assets, customer deposits and loan portfolios.
The financial statements released by the banks during the past period showed that the net profit of Bank Muscat grew to OMR44.2 million, compared with OMR43.7 million in the corresponding period last year. Bank Sohar’s net profits rose to about OMR6 million, from OMR4.1 million a year ago.
HSBC Oman’s net profits surged from OMR3.5 million to OMR5.7 million. National Bank of Oman maintained its profits at OMR13 million. Bank Dhofar’s profits declined from OMR13.5 million to OMR12.5 million. Ahlibank’s profits also dropped from OMR7 million to OMR5.2 million.
The banks affirmed that they enjoy a good financial position despite a decline in profits being experienced by some of them. Statistics delivered to the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) pointed out that total deposits in the banking sector, as of the end of February 2017, grew by 7.1 per cent to OMR20.8 billion, including OMR13.7 billion as deposits made by the private sector.
While the banks affirmed in their quarterly reports that this year will be full of challenges, they also reiterated their ability to address these risks through corporate governance and risk management systems, expenditure control, asset quality improvement and doubling efforts to meet the customers' needs and expectations.
The capital of the six MSM-listed commercial banks jumped to OMR1.148 billion by the end of March 2017, reflecting a growth by OMR78.9 million during the same period last year.
Assets declined to OMR25.3 billion, compared with OMR26.5 billion, a year ago. Most banks registered growth in assets except for Bank Muscat, whose assets dropped from OMR12.8 billion to OMR10.8 billion.
The assets of the National Bank of Oman increased by OMR200 million to OMR3.6 billion. The assets of Bank Dhofar soared to about OMR4.1 billion, compared with OMR3.7 billion in March 2016. Bank Sohar’s assets grew by OMR100 million to stay at OMR2.6 billion. HSBC Oman assets were up from OMR2.1 billion to OMR2.3 billion. Ahlibank maintained the value of its assets at OMR1.8 billion.