Muscat: Sohar International has recently concluded the issuance of OMR100 million unsecured subordinated perpetual bonds with overwhelming success that reaffirms the bank’s positive market position and investor confidence.
The issuance was the largest in local currency by any bank, and the largest by any firm in 2018-2019 under the Capital Market Authority (CMA) and listed in Muscat Securities Market (MSM).
The allotment complied with CMA guidelines and successfully raised additional Tier 1 capital of OMR100 million. The issuance received an overwhelming response resulting in an increase in the size of the issuance from OMR70 million to OMR100 million. As it was a private placement, the issuance was marketed to institutions and qualified investors.
Ahmed Al Musalmi, Chief Executive Officer of Sohar International, said, “In December 2018, our shareholders approved the issuance of additional Tier 1 capital instruments, and we proceeded diligently to ensure unrivalled success. The overwhelming response to the issuance is a testament of the confidence our investors have in the Bank despite a challenging macro environment."
"We thank our valued investors for their trust and support as we continue to increase value to all our stakeholders and, most importantly, our nation. Sohar International entered 2019 with a great sense of optimism about the future and embraced a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in its strategic approach with its new brand that embodies the attributes of being sharp, human and unstoppable personality,” he added.
The issuance saw a varied base of investor participation, including government, quasi-government agencies, large corporates, insurance companies, high net worth individuals and family offices. Such participation demonstrates the robust capabilities of Sohar International in terms of attracting capital to advance its strategic agenda.
Al Musalmi said, “We thank most sincerely our regulators for their prompt facilitation, notably the Central Bank of Oman and the Capital Market Authority, in addition to Muscat Depository and Clearing for providing a platform to raise funds in the most efficient manner."
"This issuance will boost Tier 1 Capital adequacy of the Bank, and with additional CET 1 issuance, Sohar International will be further strengthening its core net worth to emerge as one of the strongest Banks in Oman,” he added.
With the over-subscribed closing of its perpetual bonds issuance, Sohar International steadily and confidently move forward in its strategy as a pivotal player and advocate for growth and prosperity for stakeholders and the nation.
The 2018 financial results further cement Sohar International’s strong footings to capitalise on future opportunities and navigate challenges with a winning spirit. The Bank reported OMR29.366 million in Net Profit, a 15.9 per cent increase from prior year. The Board of Directors recommended a cash dividend of 6 per cent for the year, corresponding to 6 baisas per share.
Sohar International has achieved significant growth in many other financial metrics. Net interest income increased by 18.7 per cent to OMR56.651 million compared to OMR47.721 million in 2017.
Operating income for 2018 increased to OMR94.438 million, an increase of 23.6 per cent as compared to OMR76.416 million in 2017. The operating profit also rose by 31.1 per cent to OMR54.55 million from OMR41.62 million in the previous year.
Net loans and advances amounted to OMR2.25 billion as of December 31, 2018, an increase of 7.3 per cent compared to 2017. Customer deposits further increased to OMR1.81 billion in 2018, a rise of 10.7 per cent from OMR1.64 billion in 2017.
The bank’s share of private sector credit increased to 10.3 per cent in November 2018 from 10.1 per cent in December 2017, while its share of private sector deposit was 7.98 per cent in November 2018 compared to 8.45 per cent in December 2017.