Cashing in

With the entry of Bank Sohar and the conversion of Ahli Bank into a full-fledged commercial bank, competition to retain market share has intensified

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With the entry of Bank Sohar and the conversion of Ahli Bank into a full-fledged commercial bank, competition to retain market share has intensified. But there is one constant. Like last year, and the years before that, Oman's biggest bank - BankMuscat - retains its first place, outscoring others including the runner-up NBO, by many points leaving them way behind. Interestingly, Bank Sohar, which started operations less than two years ago, has surged way ahead of OIB - one of the oldest banks in the country. The bank has charted out its growth plan with several new branches and new products.
Surprise factor
OIB falls from last year's third position to seventh, with all other Omani banks overtaking it in the Best Brands survey. OIB's advertisement expenditure for the first nine months of this year fell drastically compared to the same period last year and is much lower than what its competitors have spent.
NBO loses out to HSBC
NBO loses out to HSBC amongst both expatriates and females. The latter's worldwide presence probably helped it to get a better ranking amongst expatriate respondents.
Dominance
BankMuscat outscores all its competitors in all the respondent segments by a factor of three or more. With a market share of over 42 per cent in terms of both deposits and lending, it is little wonder that the bank has a dominant position. In fact, mergers and acquisitions over the years have helped the bank to secure first spot in the survey. BankMuscat, which opened a branch in Saudi Arabia recently, is steadily strengthening its foothold in the Gulf region.

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Cashing in
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