Oman International Bank (OIB) is eyeing up
a possible merger with the Oman business unit of HSBC.

HSBC is currently
reviewing the extent of its Middle Eastern-based business
operations, in particular its operations in Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon
and Bahrain.

In a statement released
on 7 October, Ali Juma, chairman of OIB, said:

“OIB is in early stage
negotiations about a merger of its business with HSBC’s Oman

“We are not discussing
buying HSBC’s business in Oman. If the negotiations proceed to an
agreement, it will lead to a merger”

OIB is Oman’s fifth
largest bank by assets, and HSBC is number six.

OIB currently operates a
retail banking branch network of 81 outlets.

HSBC has 5 full service
branches in addition to 3 customer service units in

“Combined, they would have
the scale to be a leading player in the fast-growing Omani banking
market,” added Juma.

For the six months to 30
June, OIB posted a net profit of OMR8.38m ($21.75m), down 10.4%

OIB’s retail banking
division recorded a profit before tax of OMR5.58m, flat compared
with the same period a year ago.