Bank Dhofar Seeks Talks With Bank Sohar Board On Merger Proposal

A merger between the two lenders will create the second-largest bank in Oman with assets of about $10 billion.

Bank Dhofar said it’s seeking to meet with Omani rival Bank Sohar to discuss a proposed merger.

The bank is “currently exchanging correspondence” with Bank Sohar on the potential combination, it said today in a statement posted on the website of the Muscat stock exchange.

Bank Dhofar said in July it was exploring a possible merger with its smaller rival to create the second-largest bank in Oman with assets of about $10 billion. HSBC Holdings Plc earlier this year combined with Oman International Bank SAOG to create the third biggest Omani bank. The country’s largest lender is BankMuscat SAOG, with assets of more than $20 billion.

Commercial bank lending will rise by 15 per cent to 20 per cent this year, central bank Governor Hamud Bin Sangur Al- Zadjali said in March.

Bank Dhofar had assets of OMR2.49 billion ($6.47 billion) at the end of the third quarter, and Bank Sohar assets of OMR1.85 billion, according to their financial statements.