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Oman Development Bank mulls branch expansion


Hamad Al Harthy, ODB’s acting general manager. - File picture

Muscat: Oman Development Bank (ODB) says it is considering the establishment of two more branches in Oman in line with its efforts to promote the economic and social development of the country.

"In 2015, we plan to open two more branches, one in Al Dakhiliyah and one in Al Sharqiyah. We are still doing feasibility studies," Hamad Al Harthy, ODB's acting general manager, told the Times of Oman in an interview.
 
According to him, the bank currently has 17 branches, with two region offices in Ibra and Sohar.
Gathering for all customers

Al Harthy also said that the bank is considering the possibility of organising a gathering for its customers from various sectors in the coming months.

The conference will take place in Muscat and representatives from each sector will be invited to attend, he added.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide a platform for ODB's customers to interact more with each other and coordinate their efforts, the official noted.  

"We are financing factories, we are financing tourism, we are financing agriculture etc. So it will be good if we can bring all these customers together in one event."

ODB endeavours to mobilise resources to provide development loans and working capital loans with high quality financial and technical expertise. Its objective is to promote and finance development projects in the fields of industry, agriculture, animal resources, fisheries, tourism, education, professional offices, traditional crafts and workshops.

Tourism projects
Commenting on the Ministry of Tourism's new projects, in which ODB is expected to play an important role, Al Harthy said that they will contribute greatly to the tourism sector in the country.

"All countries are now trying to enhance this sector and by introducing new locations to initiate new projects, I think the sector will improve as Oman is a very attractive country for tourism investment," he said.  

The Ministry of Tourism recently announced the details of 22 locations and the projects it plans to develop in various governorates and regions for investment in the tourism sector, and ODB will contribute to the implementation of these projects by providing the required funding to the Omani entrepreneurs.

Efficient management
Al Harthy believes that the implementation of a plan itself is not important and what matters is running the project efficiently afterwards.

"It is not just the matter of building a building. What matters is how to operate these projects. This is the main thing, and one of our conditions for sanctioning loans is that investors should provide professional management," he noted.

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