Bank Sohar, the Omani lender currently merging with larger rival Bank Dhofar , has scrapped plans for a convertible bond issue and will instead undertake a OMR40 million ($103.9 million) rights issue, it said on Tuesday.
The bank, the Sultanate’s fifth-largest by assets, had said in May it would issue a mandatory convertible bond worth OMR70 million to help boost its Tier 1 – or core – capital.
However, in a bourse filing on Tuesday, it said its board had decided against issuing the convertible “due to uncertainty regarding its eligibility as an additional Tier 1 instrument”.
Instead, Bank Sohar will complete a rights issue, subject to regulatory approval, for a smaller amount as “this is the capital requirement to support the future growth of the bank”, with a further OMR30 million issue possible in the future if the lender required the extra capital.
Bank Sohar’s Tier 1 ratio was 10.39 per cent at the end of the second quarter, with its total capital adequacy ratio – combined Tier 1 and Tier 2 (or supplementary) capital – at 13.90 per cent, according to figures on its website.
By comparison, the median Tier 1 capital ratio in the Omani banking system was 11.97 per cent at the end of 2013, according to Thomson Reuters data.