Oman's first Islamic bank names board at second attempt

CAIRO, July 29 Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:01pm IST

CAIRO, July 29 (Reuters) - Oman's Bank Nizwa, a newly-formed Islamic lender which sold shares to the public in June, has elected its first board, it said in a statement on Sunday, a month after an initial meeting to approve the selection ended without agreement.

Bank Nizwa, the sultanate's first Islamic bank, elected an eight-member board and approved the bank's articles of association at a meeting on Saturday, the filing to the Muscat bourse showed.

Amjad Mohamed Ahmed Al-Busaidi was picked as chairman of the board, while Amer Hamed Abdullah Al Suleimani was chosen as vice chairman, a source at the bank told Reuters.

The regulatory filing did not specify who had been elected to the roles.

The first meeting to appoint a new board on June 21 failed to secure the 75 percent quorum needed for the decisions to come into effect - only 62 percent of voting rights were present, sources told Reuters last month.

While other Gulf states have ramped up Islamic finance services in recent years, Oman stood out by refusing to develop the industry. The central bank reversed that stance last year, partly to prevent the outflow of Islamic funds.

Bank Nizwa expects to post its first profit in 2014 and will begin operations two weeks after its board is elected, its Chief Executive Officer Jamil Al Jaroudi said in an interview at the beginning of this month.

The lender raised 60 million rials ($155.8 million) in a 40-percent initial public offering which attracted subscriptions from investors worth 11 times the sum it planned to raise.

Shares in the bank initially surged - up 13 percent on the first day of trading - but the share price has traded in a narrow band, around 0.003 rials above its 0.102 rials offer price, for much of July.

Bank Nizwa shares ended 1 percent higher on Sunday. ($1 = 0.3851 Omani rials) (Reporting by Ahmed Lotfy; Writing by David French; Editing by Rachna Uppal)

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