KEY PART­NER IN NA­TION-BUILD­ING

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

Co­in­cid­ing with the 47th Na­tional Day com­mem­o­rat­ing the glo­ri­ous achieve­ments of Oman un­der the lead­er­ship of His Majesty Sul­tan Qa­boos, Bank Mus­cat, the flag­ship fi­nan­cial ser­vices provider in the Sul­tanate, has re­it­er­ated com­mit­ted to supporting the gov­ern­ment ob­jec­tives in di­ver­si­fy­ing the na­tional econ­omy and pro­mot­ing the coun­try’s progress and de­vel­op­ment.

The oc­ca­sion is a mile­stone for the bank, which marks its 35th an­niver­sary. Lead­ing by ex­am­ple over the past 35 years, Bank Mus­cat has seized ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to con­trib­ute to the Sul­tanate’s eco­nomic growth and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses to grow and pros­per.

Ab­dul Razak Ali Issa, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, said: “Bank Mus­cat is proud to join the na­tion in cel­e­brat­ing the 47th Na­tional Day, high­light­ing the glo­ri­ous achieve­ments un­der the lead­er­ship of His Majesty Sul­tan Qa­boos. The bank be­gan its jour­ney in 1982 with the mis­sion of cre­at­ing value for the na­tion and its peo­ple. Dur­ing the past 35 years since its in­cep­tion, the bank has been closely as­so­ci­ated with the progressive march of the na­tion in all realms, par­tic­i­pat­ing in the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment projects and com­ple­ment­ing the gov­ern­ment’s en­deav­ours to boost the na­tional econ­omy.”

Bank Mus­cat has the largest net­work of 146 branches, 645 ATMs & CDMs and 18,000 PoS ter­mi­nals spread across the Sul­tanate. The trust and con­fi­dence re­posed by the peo­ple and the na­tion have helped the bank to main­tain the lead­er­ship po­si­tion.

Build­ing on the gov­ern­ment em­pha­sis to di­ver­sify the econ­omy and to en­cour­age pri­vate sec­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion in na­tional de­vel­op­ment, Bank Mus­cat plays an in­te­gral part in largescale in­fra­struc­ture projects. The bank has been as­so­ci­ated with ma­jor syn­di­cated fi­nanc­ing pro­grammes across var­i­ous sec­tors as the man­dated lead ar­ranger. The bank’s clients in­clude multi­na­tional and do­mes­tic com­pa­nies en­gaged in ac­tiv­i­ties across all sec­tors of the econ­omy such as con­tract­ing, trad­ing, power, wa­ter, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, oil & gas, avi­a­tion, ship­ping, air­port and ports, gas & petro­chem­i­cals, real es­tate and in­ter­na­tional trad­ing. The bank posted a net profit of RO 130.26 mil­lion for the nine months ended Septem­ber 30, 2017. Elec­tronic chan­nels en­hance bank­ing con­ve­nience

Marked by speed, con­ve­nience and se­cu­rity, Bank Mus­cat’s elec­tronic bank­ing chan­nels en­able fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions any­time, any­where. The tech­nol­ogy fo­cus of Bank Mus­cat is re­flected in the largest net­work of in­ter-con­nected branches, pay­ment gate­ways, cards, mer­chant ser­vices, al­ter­nate chan­nels of ATMs, CDMs, on­line and mo­bile bank­ing as well as con­nec­tiv­ity with util­ity ser­vice providers. The lat­est ad­di­tion is Oman’s first mo­bile wal­let launched by Bank Mus­cat, which marks yet an­other se­cure and con­ve­nient pay­ment chan­nel as part of the coun­try’s e-Gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive.

ATMs form a pil­lar of cus­tomer ser­vice and Bank Mus­cat can proudly claim that its net­work of ATMs and CDMs spread across the coun­try is the pre­ferred choice. Be­ing a mem­ber of OmanSwitch and GCCNet, cus­tomers from any bank in Oman, the GCC coun­tries and from around the world can use Bank Mus­cat ATMs for their cash re­quire­ments.

The bank’s state-of-the-art mo­bile bank­ing ser­vice has made bank­ing truly mo­bile for the largest bank­ing fam­ily in Oman who can bank 24/7 ‘any­time, any­where’. No­tably, the mBank­ing ap­pli­ca­tion works on al­most all mo­bile phones and is cus­tomised for iPhones, Black­berry and An­droid based phones with sim­ple icons and menus.

Driven by the lat­est tech­no­log­i­cal fea­tures of­fer­ing a wide range of op­tions, the In­ter­net bank­ing ser­vice helps Bank Mus­cat cus­tomers bank at con­ve­nience from ‘any­where, any­time’. For peo­ple con­stantly on the move, the on­line bank­ing ser­vice is a boon. The sim­ple-touse 24/7 ser­vice is avail­able at https://www. bankmus­ca­ton­line.com

For cor­po­rate cus­tomers, the In­ter­net bank­ing ser­vice pro­vides to­tal con­trol of fi­nance 24 hoursa-day. In ad­di­tion to man­ag­ing and trans­fer­ring funds be­tween own ac­counts as well as other ac­counts within Bank Mus­cat, cor­po­rates can ar­range for lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional trans­fers, bill pay­ments, trans­fer of salaries, ven­dor pay­ments and much more in a se­cure en­vi­ron­ment.

The first so­cial me­dia ac­count in the bank­ing sec­tor in Oman launched by Bank Mus­cat for in­no­va­tive cus­tomer ser­vice has proved pop­u­lar. The ded­i­cated Twit­ter ac­count @bankmus­cat­care re­flects the lat­est trends in bank­ing and fa­cil­i­tates real time com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween cus­tomers and the bank on in­quiries and feed­back.

Cus­tomers can con­tact the Call Cen­tre on 24795555 any time of the day from any­where in the world and use the ro­bust In­te­grated Voice Re­sponse (IVR) sys­tem to ob­tain re­quired in­for­ma­tion or con­tact Phone Bankers for as­sis­tance. In the event of card loss, cus­tomers can them­selves block their cards through the IVR sys­tem.

Bank Mus­cat cus­tomers are in­creas­ingly mov­ing to elec­tronic bank­ing chan­nels ow­ing to the adap­tive and flex­i­ble na­ture of ser­vices. The bank is fo­cused on adding value and en­gag­ing cus­tomers through their pre­ferred bank­ing chan­nels.

The bank reg­u­larly com­mu­ni­cates and in­ter­acts with cus­tomers to en­sure the high­est lev­els of se­cu­rity for bank­ing trans­ac­tions through var­i­ous chan­nels. Draw­ing at­ten­tion to the dangers of iden­tity theft and fi­nan­cial fraud, the bank alerts cus­tomers on fraud­u­lent meth­ods such as phish­ing, smish­ing, vish­ing and so­cial en­gi­neer­ing in which gullible vic­tims fall prey to fi­nan­cial loss. In­no­va­tive hu­man re­sources de­vel­op­ment

Bank Mus­cat has the distinc­tion of out­stand­ing lead­er­ship at all lev­els and has achieved 94.57 per cent Oman­i­sa­tion, giv­ing pri­or­ity for Oma­nis to oc­cupy key po­si­tions. The bank’s hu­man re­sources strat­egy is no­table in main­tain­ing gen­der di­ver­sity as 48 per cent of em­ploy­ees are women hold­ing var­i­ous po­si­tions, in­clud­ing se­nior man­age­ment po­si­tions. Of the to­tal 3,610 em­ploy­ees, the num­ber of women em­ploy­ees presently stands at 1,715.

Bank Mus­cat reck­ons its com­pe­tent peo­ple as key strength and is fo­cused on equip­ping them to make vi­tal con­tri­bu­tions to the bank’s growth and suc­cess. The bank plays a prom­i­nent role in the de­vel­op­ment of Omani tal­ent and is com­mit­ted to in­vest­ing in im­prov­ing their skill and ex­per­tise.

The de­vel­op­ment of hu­man re­sources is a pri­or­ity in the bank which pro­vides rel­e­vant ed­u­ca­tional and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to em­ploy­ees. The train­ing and de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes are car­ried out through spe­cialised cour­ses con­ducted by ac­cred­ited train­ing cen­tres or through aca­demic links with colleges, uni­ver­si­ties and lead­ing train­ing in­sti­tutes at the re­gional and global lev­els.

The Jadara tal­ent man­age­ment pro­gramme serves as the plat­form for all train­ing and de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes in the bank.

The bank ear­marks sub­stan­tial al­lo­ca­tion for train­ing and de­vel­op­ment of hu­man re­sources in all func­tions and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as­signed to them. The bank’s Learn­ing & De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre or­gan­ised a to­tal of 631 pro­grammes dur­ing the first 9 months of 2017 com­pared to 425 pro­grammes in 2016. A to­tal of 12,702 em­ploy­ees par­tic­i­pated in these pro­grammes, in­clud­ing 11,645 Oma­nis, cov­er­ing 16,243 man­days.

Dur­ing the year, the bank launched the High Po­ten­tial (HiPo) Grad­u­ate De­vel­op­ment pro­gramme invit­ing 20 of the best grad­u­ates from lead­ing Omani and in­ter­na­tional uni­ver­si­ties. The batch is cur­rently un­der­go­ing a thor­ough de­vel­op­ment jour­ney for the next 2 years. Tal­ent re­view process was ini­ti­ated where a num­ber of bank staff were iden­ti­fied to be a part of the Tal­ent Pool. They will be un­der­go­ing a rig­or­ous 2-year de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme. Ad­di­tion­ally, a crit­i­cal role anal­y­sis was con­ducted to iden­tify crit­i­cal roles across the bank along with their suc­ces­sion plan. Boost for SME de­vel­op­ment Re­it­er­at­ing the com­mit­ment to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and com­ple­ment­ing gov­ern­ment ef­forts in strength­en­ing the role of small and medium en­ter­prises (SMEs) in the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of Oman, Bank Mus­cat has launched a se­ries of unique ini­tia­tives. Serv­ing as build­ing blocks for ex­ist­ing and prospec­tive en­trepreneurs, these ini­tia­tives as­sume im­por­tance in the back­drop of the pri­or­ity ac­corded by the gov­ern­ment to de­velop the SME sec­tor in Oman.

En­ter­pris­ing en­trepreneurs who com­pleted SME train­ing pro­grammes from the bank’s al Wath­bah Academy cen­tres are suc­cess­fully fol­low­ing their busi­ness dreams, con­tribut­ing to the coun­try’s progress and de­vel­op­ment. No­tably, the SME train­ing pro­gramme is ben­e­fit­ing en­trepreneurs across the Sul­tanate to ac­quire the re­quired skill-set and knowl­edge to chart suc­cess­ful busi­ness ven­tures. The bank’s al Wath­bah SME depart­ment of­fers a com­pre­hen­sive suite of tai­lor-made fi­nance so­lu­tions and non-fi­nan­cial ser­vices tar­geted at small and medium en­ter­prises. Credit fa­cil­i­ties, both short-term and long-term in na­ture, are avail­able to all sec­tors. Fur­ther sup­port is ex­tended through non-fi­nan­cial ser­vices in ar­eas of ed­u­ca­tion, coach­ing, net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and work­shops.

Of­fer­ing a ma­jor boost for start-up and small busi­nesses in Oman, the spe­cially de­signed na­jahi prod­ucts ful­fil the pri­mary need of fi­nance for the mi­cro and small busi­ness seg­ment.

Tar­get­ting SMEs, the bank has lined up ed­u­ca­tional work­shops to raise aware­ness on al­ter­na­tive sources of en­ergy in the coun­try. The pro­gramme highlights busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able for SMEs from re­new­able en­ergy sources like so­lar power. Com­mit­ted to so­cial de­vel­op­ment

As a for­ward look­ing fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion, Bank Mus­cat is at the fore­front in con­tribut­ing to so­ci­ety and thereby set­ting a fine ex­am­ple for the cor­po­rate sec­tor to de­velop so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity as a cor­po­rate cul­ture. As the pi­o­neer of CSR ac­tiv­i­ties in the bank­ing sec­tor in Oman, the bank has over the years im­ple­mented sev­eral ini­tia­tives ben­e­fit­ing var­i­ous seg­ments of so­ci­ety.

Cen­tral to the bank’s CSR pro­grammes is the Green Sports ini­tia­tive to pro­mote Oman as a sport­ing na­tion and the na­tional game of foot­ball. As part of the pro­gramme, the bank in a record time has achieved no­table suc­cess in de­vel­op­ing green fields in all parts of the Sul­tanate, thus con­tribut­ing to re­al­is­ing the sport­ing dreams of youth. The Green Sports ini­tia­tive launched by Bank Mus­cat in 2012 has gained mo­men­tum with a to­tal of 78 sports teams across the Sul­tanate ben­e­fit­ing from the sup­port till date.

Jesr Al Mus­taqbal ed­u­ca­tional sup­port of­fered by the bank cov­ers stu­dents from low in­come or so­cial wel­fare fam­i­lies.

The pro­gramme in part­ner­ship with the Min­istry of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion pro­vides ed­u­ca­tional and vo­ca­tional train­ing sup­port, in­clud­ing spon­sor­ship to com­plete bach­e­lor de­gree pro­grammes. Jesr Al Mus­taqbal ben­e­fi­cia­ries serve as great in­flu­encers on their fam­i­lies and the fu­ture gen­er­a­tion in achiev­ing a bet­ter qual­ity of life.

The Tad­hamun pro­gramme launched by Bank Mus­cat in part­ner­ship with the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment reaches out to so­cial wel­fare fam­i­lies across the Sul­tanate. The pro­gramme is fo­cused on dis­tri­bu­tion of ba­sic elec­tronic home ap­pli­ances, in­clud­ing air-con­di­tion­ers and re­frig­er­a­tors, to help them cope with the arid weather con­di­tions. The bank dis­trib­utes ba­sic home ap­pli­ances to an av­er­age 150 fam­i­lies ev­ery year, con­tribut­ing to a safe, healthy en­vi­ron­ment. Leav­ing an Im­print Im­prints, the bank’s largest CSR ini­tia­tive was launched in 2016 to ad­dress the chang­ing eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment and cur­rent so­cial is­sues. Stem­ming from the Royal di­rec­tive of His Majesty Sul­tan Qa­boos to ac­cord pri­or­ity for so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, the ini­tia­tive is the first-of-its-kind in Oman in terms of its scope and reach, seek­ing to unite dif­fer­ent seg­ments of peo­ple in mak­ing a big dif­fer­ence in re­cip­ro­cat­ing to what the coun­try has given them.

Highly am­bi­tious in its scope and reach, the Im­prints ini­tia­tive is a unique pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship launched by the bank in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Min­istry of Tourism, Mus­cat Mu­nic­i­pal­ity and the Pub­lic Au­thor­ity for Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion. The four pil­lars of the Im­prints ini­tia­tive are fo­cused on pro­grammes to in­cul­cate fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy, pro­mote sus­tain­able tourism, sus­tain green en­vi­ron­ment and en­cour­age en­riched life­style.

Bank Mus­cat has drawn up a wide rang­ing plan on the Im­prints plat­form to demon­strate its com­mit­ment to be the most ex­em­plary cor­po­rate ci­ti­zen in Oman and thereby mo­ti­vate oth­ers to fol­low suit with sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives ben­e­fit­ing the na­tion.

Part­ners with the Im­prints pro­gramme in­clude the In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion (IFC) to pro­vide the nec­es­sary know-how, tools and ca­pac­ity on green home fi­nanc­ing. The move is aimed at pro­mot­ing en­ergy ef­fi­cient green build­ings in the coun­try to re­duce en­ergy costs and cut green­house gas emis­sions.

Meethaq Is­lamic Bank­ing, in step with its com­mit­ment to so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, has de­fined bench­marks in con­ser­va­tion of en­ergy and fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy pro­grammes as part of the Im­prints CSR ini­tia­tive. At a time when the role of Is­lamic fi­nance is in­creas­ingly seen in supporting eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment, Meethaq re­mains com­mit­ted to so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity ini­tia­tives con­tribut­ing to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in Oman. Meethaq con­sol­i­dates lead­er­ship

Within four years of op­er­a­tions, Meethaq Is­lamic Bank­ing has con­sol­i­dated its lead­er­ship po­si­tion. No­tably, Meethaq has crossed a mile­stone of over RO 1 bil­lion in as­sets. Presently, Meethaq ac­counts for over 33 per cent mar­ket share in terms of as­sets and is the mar­ket leader in Is­lamic bank­ing in Oman.

Meethaq has many achieve­ments con­tribut­ing to the growth and de­vel­op­ment of the Sul­tanate’s econ­omy. Meethaq ex­tends sup­port to all key eco­nomic sec­tors in the Sul­tanate. The no­table fi­nance fa­cil­i­ties of­fered by Meethaq in­clude the re­fi­nanc­ing of RO 78 mil­lion signed with Oman Ship­ping Com­pany for its three very large crude car­ri­ers (VLCCs). Meethaq took an­other ma­jor stride as Oman’s first and only Sharia based air­craft fi­nancier to the na­tional car­rier Oman Air for ac­quir­ing its sec­ond Boe­ing 787 Dream­liner.

Aimed at en­hanc­ing in-coun­try value and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, Meethaq ex­tended project fi­nance for Se­bacic Oman set­ting up the world’s largest plant for se­bacic acid. Supporting food se­cu­rity of the coun­try un­der Tan­feedh ini­tia­tives (Na­tional Pro­gramme for En­hanc­ing Eco­nomic Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion), Meethaq ex­tended RO 50 mil­lion project fi­nance to A’ Na­maa Poul­try set­ting up the big­gest poul­try project in Oman.

Meethaq is the first Is­lamic bank­ing en­tity to ob­tain CMA ap­proval for a Sukuk is­suance tar­get­ing re­tail in­vestors in Oman. The Meethaq Sukuk pro­gramme evoked over­whelm­ing re­sponse to the maiden RO 25 mil­lion is­suance.

In recog­ni­tion of out­stand­ing achieve­ments and com­mit­ment to of­fer world-class bank­ing ser­vice to cus­tomers, Bank Mus­cat has won all pres­ti­gious lo­cal, re­gional and global awards. Bank Mus­cat is pro­gress­ing well on track with clar­ity on its dy­namic ‘Let’s Do More’ vi­sion, val­ues and strat­egy, which have helped in dis­tin­guish­ing it­self in bank­ing ex­cel­lence, and re­mains fo­cused on its cus­tomer-cen­tric strat­egy to sus­tain the com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage.

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