Muscat, 20th December 2016: In March 2016, Oman Investment Fund (OIF), Oman International Development and Investment Company (OMINVEST) and Arab Bank (Switzerland) (ABS) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to acquire Oman Arab Bank’s (OAB) Investment Management Group business. Over the past two decades, Investment Management Group has been a leading name in the investment sector. In Oman, Investment Management Group is one of the largest asset managers and a leading stock broker. It has executed some of the most notable corporate finance deals including initial public offerings (IPO’s), debt placements and other advisory mandates.
OIF, OMINVEST and ABS recently established Ubhar Capital SAOC (U-Capital), which is envisioned to become Oman’s leading independent investment banking platform. We are pleased to announce that on (insert date), U-Capital agreed to acquire Investment Management Group. The acquisition will encompass the entire existing Investment Management Group platform,including systems, human resources, licenses, assets and liabilities. We are also pleased to announce that U-Capital has been granted Regulatory Approvals to acquire Investment Management Group from OAB. The new Shareholders will provide significant strategic support to U-Capital to further develop and build its underlying lines of business, which encompass: investment banking, asset management, brokerage and custody services. U-Capital will commence business operations in January 2017.
Sheikh Hassan Al Nabhani, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Investment Fund, stated that acquisition of Investment Management Group is a major step towards realising their vision of creating a premier asset management company out of Oman – with global reach and capabilities. He expects U-Capital to cater to the investment needs of major institutional investors, while operating as a platform for attracting foreign investments into Oman. Sheikh Hassan elaborated that OIF is highly supportive of such platform acquisitions to create larger and more efficient businesses, creating economies of scale and realising synergies amongst our major portfolio companies. He added that U-Capital will focus on developing local human capital and create a pool of professional investment banking professionals.
Wahbe Tamari, Chairman of Arab Bank (Switzerland), said that ABS is pleased to enter into this transaction with OIF and OMINVEST. He added that ABS will provide support to U-Capital in building a world class institution catering to a broad base of regional and international customers. Tamari said he is excited about the prospects of working in Oman and contributing to the economic development of Oman.
Rashad Al Zubair, Chairman of Oman Arab Bank, said they are pleased that Investment Management Group has been a leading player in the investment banking sector in Oman and has been instrumental in Oman’s economic development over the past two decades. He stated that they are excited that U-Capital has long term sustainable growth plans for the company. OAB will now focus on its core strengths of building world class leading bank in Oman. Mr. Al Zubair made a special mention to the conducive investments and regulatory operating environment in Oman.
Abdulaziz Al Balushi, Group CEO of OMINVEST said they are proud to be a shareholder in U-Capital and very pleased to acquire Investment Management Group, a well-managed business with a strong track record. He added that Investment Management Group’s business will flourish under U-Capital and the Shareholders will lend all the support to make it a remarkable success by offering much better products and services to the clients.
Amin Al Husseini, OAB’s Chief Executive Officer said that the sale of Investment Management Group has been a concerted effort by the entire OAB management team and part of the overall strategy of the bank to augment its position in the Bank’s other business verticals. Al Husseini further added that the sale will significantly strengthen the Bank’s financial position and the proceeds will be utilized to finance core strategic initiatives. Al Husseini further thanked both the Central Bank of Oman and Capital Market Authority for creating a conducive investment environment and for their continued support.
Lo’ai Bataineh, who will be heading U-Capital and who has headed Investment Management Group since its inception, is confident of the bright future of U-Capital with its expanded scope.
Mr. Bataineh added that he and his team have been in touch with their clients throughout the transition. All clients can be rest assured that there will be no impact on their services and mandates and that their transition from Investment Management Group to U-capital will be smooth and seamless. He stated that the envisioned business expansion, new resources and capabilities are expected to make U-Capital one of the largest and best-equipped investment banking companies in Oman. Therefore, the customers of Investment Management Group and new clients will greatly benefit from a wider array of products and enhanced services offered by U-Capital.