Muscat: Bank Sohar’s shareholders attended an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) followed by the Bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 29, 2018 at the Sheraton Hotel in Muscat. The Bank’s Board of Directors, led by Chairman of the Board Mohammed Mahfoudh Al Ardhi, and Executive Management convened to brief shareholders on the bank’s performance in 2017 and discuss items on the agenda.
Key topics of discussion during the EGM included the approval of an increase in the bank’s authorised capital from OMR200 million to OMR400 million, in addition to the amendment of the Articles of Association of the bank accordingly. The AGM in-turn covered 17 agenda items; starting with review and consideration of the Board of Directors’ Report for the financial year ended on December 31, 2017.
The AGM also discussed and approved the distribution of cash dividends to shareholders at the rate of 5 per cent of the bank’s capital (5 baisas per share), and the distribution of bonus shares at the rate of 10 per cent of the capital (10 shares for every 100 shares).
Commenting on the meeting agenda, Bank Sohar’s Chairman, Mohammed Mahfoudh Al Ardhisaid, “The bank’s solid performance during last year’s challenging business environment demonstrated its capabilities as a market leader that continues to achieve sustainable growth across numerous verticals. We are confident that our shareholders and the wider market will continue to observe Bank Sohar as an institution of banking excellence in contribution to the Sultanate as an emerging industry.”
The 17 items covered by the AGM included the Board of Director’s (BoD) proposal for a budget of OMR250,000 for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and charitable donations in 2018, as well as a review of what was previously allocated in 2017 for donations.
Also board approved the Corporate Governance Report for the year ending December 2017, consideration and approval of the auditor’s report on financial statements in 2017, the board and other committees’ sitting fees and remuneration, review and approve transactions carried out with related parties during the year 2017.
The AGM also approved the appointment of statutory auditors for the financial year ending December 31, 2018 and approved their remuneration. The appointment of three directors to the BoD to fill the vacant seats as well as members of Sharia Supervisory Board (SSB) for Sohar Islamic, the Islamic window of the bank, and sitting fees for the SSB members were also discussed and approved, in addition to noting the SSB’s report on the legitimacy of Sohar Islamic’s transactions for the financial year 2017.
The AGM also approved the report on the BoD’s performance for 2017, appointed an independent firm to evaluate BoD performance for 2018, and approved the criteria for the evaluation.
“I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to the chairman and board members together with the bank’s executive management and staff for their contributions which have resulted in Bank Sohar’s continued success. Furthermore, I offer gratitude to shareholders and customers alike for their trust and loyalty,” Sasi Kumar, acting CEO of Bank Sohar, said.
“We endeavour to further cement our market position in 2018 by enhancing our market propositions and human capital to meet the ever-evolving needs of local communities, businesses, and investors in accordance with Oman’s economic opportunities,” he added.
Bank Sohar’s performance in 2017 observed significant growth, recording a 32.54 per cent uptake in net profit, with core business verticals indicating security, strength, and continued profitability. The bank concluded the year with outstanding results overall in consideration of challenging market conditions, featuring a 5.91 per cent increase in net interest income, and a 9.99 per cent rise in operating profit.
Sasi Kumar said, “The integration of customer centricity and digitisation has been central to our continued development and market advancement. The bank is utilising modern channels of communication in its endeavour to better understand the needs of its customers; proactively offering improved service engagement and outreach.”
“The bank’s ongoing digitization extends across many operational aspects and e-service infrastructure to creating investment prospects that supported our overall growth in 2017. Further value is on the horizon based on our continued focus on these elements in our strategic planning for 2018,” he added.