Muscat: The Sultanate's two leading investment holding firms — Oman National Investment Corporation (ONIC) Holding and Oman International Development and Investment Co — are planning a possible merger. Sources said that ONIC would consider the proposal in its board meeting scheduled for this month.
Ominvest last month said that it had written to ONIC Holding about forming a strategic arrangement between the two firms, with any tie-up subject to approvals of shareholders and regulators.
Market sources said that both groups have substantial investments in banking, insurance, financial services and leasing sectors and have synergies in certain investments. ONIC has stakes in National Life and General Insurance, Al Ahlia Insurance, Takaful Oman and Oman Orix leasing, while Ominvest partly owns Oman Arab Bank and National Finance.
"The combined entity will have holdings in insurance, banking, financial services and leasing," said a market analyst. Since both companies have large companies, a merger will allow them to enter in big deals. "We don't have such large entities in Oman," added the market analyst.
ONIC also has shareholding in International General Insurance Holding, Oman Chlorine, National Finance House (Bahrain) and Pak Oman Asset Management Company.
Likewise, Ominvest has stakes in Modern Steel Mills, National Detergent, National Biscuit Industries, Salalah Resorts and Budva Beach Project.
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