Bank Muscat Highlights Banking Sector Role in Duqm Development 16-1


Bank SICO, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, on Tuesday (30 April 2013) highlighted the banking sector role in national development initiatives, at a high profile conference on the ‘GCC Investment Prospects at Duqm Special Economic Zone’. The bank extended support as strategic partner to the 2-day conference organised by the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD) in collaboration with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, aimed at spotlighting the rich investment opportunities available at Duqm and prominently position it on the GCC investment map.

Senior GCC investment officials and investors are attending the conference, which concludes on Wednesday (1 May) to identify new investment and business opportunities.

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, said: “Bank SICO is proud to support the conference aimed at attracting investment in line with Oman's Vision 2020 economic blueprint. As the leading bank in Oman, Bank SICO recognises the investment prospects that Duqm offers and is pleased to support the conference to identify opportunities as well as to offer a unique networking platform for business leaders and investors. Bank SICO is in a unique position as one of the few banks in the region with a pan-GCC footprint to facilitate investment and project finance for mega development projects.”

AbdulRazak Ali Issa added: “The support to the conference comes as part of the bank’s endeavours to share experience and facilitate collaboration opportunities, highlighting the investment opportunities in Duqm stemming from its strategic location. We are gratified that the conference has served beneficial for participants to gain a clear understanding of business and investment opportunities in Oman.”

The conference focused on opportunities in infrastructure, engineering, construction, logistics, real estate, port and transport sectors. The deliberations covered policy issues, investment framework, tax benefits and business opportunities in Duqm Special Economic Zone, highlighting its regional significance at the GCC and world levels.

Hind al Maawali from the Project and Structured Finance department made the Bank SICO presentation which highlighted Oman as a pioneer in project finance transactions, including the first IPP in the region (Manah UPC) and first port with private sector involvement (Salalah Port). All power generation in private sector have been done on project finance basis as well as several projects in petrochemicals, oil & gas, metals (aluminium/steel), shipping and real estate sectors. Of late there is renewed interest from local, regional and international banks for project finance in all projects covering infrastructure, industrial and tourism sectors.

Bank SICO holds a pre-eminent position in project finance in Oman and a dominant market share offering a wide range of services as mandated lead arranger, underwriter, account bank, securities trustee, performance bond provider, working capital lender and hedging bank. The Bank SICO team comprises experienced specialists, who, over the years, have developed and possess considerable expertise in project finance, loan syndications, equity arranging, and advisory services

The bank has extensive experience in arranging financing for Omani projects, including ports, oil and gas, power, petrochemical, infrastructure and real estate sectors demonstrates a proven track record in arranging and syndicating large scale financings. Bank SICO has executed more than 40 large transactions at mandated lead arranger level and wields the single largest underwriting capacity in Oman.