Muscat: HSBC Bank Oman posted a net profit of OMR5.7 million for the first half of 2014. This represented a 38.7 per cent decrease over the same period last year when large recoveries and release of a portion of the general provision had helped jack up profits.
Net operating income before loan impairment charges increased by 2.7 per cent to OMR34.1 million, compared to OMR33.2 million for the same period in 2013.
Net interest income was flat at OMR23.1 million while total other operating income increased by 8.9 per cent to OMR11 million compared to OMR10.1 million for the same period in 2013.
David Eldon, chairman of HSBC Bank Oman, said, "We have built on the positive momentum seen in the first quarter by remaining focused on our strategy of growing revenues, streamlining processes and procedures, and implementing the highest global standards to protect the bank, our shareholders and our customers against the growing risks of financial crime. I am particularly pleased with the growth in value of loans and advances to our customers since our annual general meeting in March."
"We continue to see strong sales activity in retail banking and wealth management following the introduction of a more focused customer-centric way of serving customers, with our staff having more valuable conversations with customers about their financial needs. In commercial banking, our local expertise combined with our international connectivity is proving to be a compelling proposition enabling HSBC Bank Oman to win important new business," he added.
HSBC Bank Oman continued its branch investment programme with more branches refurbished to help deliver the best in-branch customer experience. In addition, recognising the increasingly important role of digital banking in society, the bank launched an Arabic Mobile Banking application to complement its comprehensive digital banking proposition.
Commenting on its operations in India, Eldon said, "Further to our statement in April when we announced we had entered into an agreement to sell our banking business in India to Doha Bank, discussions are continuing with all the relevant stakeholders as we seek to conclude this deal by the last quarter of the year."
The bank continued to show its support to the national agenda by appointing Abdul Qader Al Sumali and Sulaiman Al Lamki to senior executive positions. It also maintained its commitment to Oman through its corporate sustainability initiatives, including a new partnership with the Oman Water Society to renovate Al Maidan Falaj in wilayat Nakhal.
In the first half of the year, HSBC Bank Oman staff contributed over 700 hours of volunteer help with over 150 staff supporting corporate sustainability initiatives in some way. HSBC Bank Oman is the second largest bank in the Sultanate by branch network, operating an extensive network of more than 80 branches and over 120 ATMs across the country. Through its delivery channels, the bank offers a comprehensive suite of financial products and services designed to serve the needs of retail, corporate and institutional customers. Today, HSBC Bank Oman is part of a global network of 6,300 offices in over 75 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, North and Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
HSBC is the largest and most widely represented international banking organisation in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), with a presence in 13 countries across the region.
HSBC has operations in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Algeria and the Palestinian Autonomous Area.
In Saudi Arabia, HSBC is a 40 per cent shareholder of Saudi British Bank (SABB), and a 49 per cent shareholder of HSBC Saudi Arabia for investment banking in the Kingdom. HSBC also maintains a representative office in Libya.
This presence, the widest reach of any bank in the region, comprises some 295 offices and around 12,000 employees. In the year ending December 2013, HSBC in the Mena region made a profit before tax of $1.7 billion.