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Oman's BankDhofar’s viability rating upgraded to ‘BB+’ by Fitch


Abdul Hakeem Al Ojaili, Acting CEO of BankDhofar. Photo: Supplied

Muscat: BankDhofar on Monday said that Fitch Ratings, one of the world's leading international credit rating agencies, has upgraded the bank's Viability Rating (VR) to 'BB+' from 'BB' and has affirmed the bank's Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BBB+'.

The upgrade of bank's VR is a result of the bank's resilient performance, with generally sound asset quality and capital, which are now closer to more highly rated peers.

BankDhofar's VR, benefits from a stable operating environment, with the government's capital investment programme driving solid gross domestic product (GDP) growth and creating lending opportunities for domestic banks.

Bank regulation and oversight is strong in the Sultanate, which is partly mitigating concentration risks on the bank's balance sheet.

Abdul Hakeem Al Ojaili, Acting CEO of the bank said; "This rating strengthens our position in the market and reinforces that BankDhofar is a leading bank in the Sultanate and one of the best in Gulf."

"This is a significant achievement for us as we've presented solid financials for the first half of 2014 and will continue on this growth path," he added.

This rating is an addition to the bank's achievements and awards won locally, regionally and internationally from multiple famous institutions and bodies.

Recently, BankDhofar has been awarded the best bank in Oman by CPI Financial.

CPI Financial awards cover a variety of financial services including retail, corporate, investment, private banking, asset management, fund management, finance companies and consultancy practices. This year, nominations have been received from the Sultanate, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon representing more than 200 institutions.

In 2013, BankDhofar has received awards for different aspects of its operations and presence by renowned bodies worldwide as well as locally.  It was named the Best Retail Bank in Oman twice in 2013 by both Global Finance Market Review as well as the Global Banking & Finance review Awards. In addition to that, it was rewarded for the ongoing investment in infrastructure, personnel and improvement on services. 

Business Today magazine, a homegrown well-respected publication, also identified BankDhofar among the best banks in Oman in their recent rankings for 2013.

Furthermore, the bank recently collected the highly honoured STP award from Commerzbank, Germany. The distinction recognizes BankDhofar's superior Straight-through-processing (STP) of Euro payments and financial transactions.

The bank also collected accolades for the Best Business Process Management System, as well as one for the most comprehensive and well-designed website, presented by Oman Web Awards 2013.

Maisarah Islamic Banking Services of BankDhofar has won global recognition within months of commencing operations, as it was named Best Islamic Window for 2013 in Oman by the Global Financial Market Awards (GFM).

The bank was also listed among top 20 companies listed on the Muscat Securities Market in 2012. This award is presented by Oman Economic Review magazine and it is an annual ranking based of Fortune 500 model.

To top it all off, BankDhofar surpassed nominees at the recently held Corporate Governance Excellence awards conducted by the Oman Centre for Corporate Governance OCCG of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), and was awarded first place in the banking sector. The bank's excellent performance at the awards made it a model candidate for listed companies that are not only in full compliance with Oman's code of corporate governance but are going beyond the basic requirements set by the CMA and the CBO and operating with best practice principles in mind.

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