A Fitch statement said that the bank had been losing competitiveness in an overcrowded market, adding that given the limited growth potential and difficult economic conditions, the new management would find it hard to reverse the decline.

OIB, founded in 1975, is the oldest of Oman’s banks and one of the largest in terms of assets. The bank’s largest shareholder is the Zawawi group of companies, with a 47 per cent stake.