Omani banks' 2002 profits rise steeply

17 April 2003
The combined net profits of Oman's commercial banks leapt in 2002 to OR 60 million ($153.8 million) from only OR 4.9 million ($12.6 million) the previous year, according to Central Bank of Oman data published on 16 April. The 14 commercial banks saw profits plummet in 2001 because of the need to increase provisioning. 'Banks must continue to focus on assessing risks before they grant loans to lower provisions,' CBO president Hamood Sangour al-Zadjali told Reuters. 'The banks improved their business efficiency last year and I hope that will promote Oman's financial position.' The central bank earlier in April lowered the ceiling on interest charged on personal loans to 11 per cent from 12 per cent and instructed banks to maintain the cap on personal loans as a proportion of their portfolio at 40 per cent.

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