Oman's Bank Muscat plans $251 mln rights issue - document

DUBAI, June 25 Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:56am IST

DUBAI, June 25 (Reuters) - Bank Muscat, Oman's largest bank by market value, is planning to raise 96.7 million rials ($251.17 million) from selling shares to existing holders, as the lender seeks to fund its credit growth and venture into Islamic finance.

Bank Muscat, in which Dubai Financial Group has a 14.7 percent stake, is offering 226.5 million shares at 0.427 rials per share as part of the issue, a document from the lender seen by Reuters showed.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to fund the bank's credit expansion and future foray into Islamic finance, the document said.

While lenders in neighbouring Gulf states have ramped up sharia-compliant services in recent years, Oman has stood out by refusing to participate in the industry.

The central bank reversed that stance last year, partly to prevent the outflow of Islamic funds.

The rights issue will be open from July 9 to July 23.

Bank Muscat shares closed at 0.57 rials on the Muscat bourse on Sunday. ($1 = 0.3850 Omani rials) (Reporting by Dinesh Nair; Editing by Rachna Uppal)