OMINVEST holds annual general meeting
Oman International Development and Investment Company (OMINVEST) held its annual general meeting on Wednesday. In the meeting, shareholders approved the company’s financials for the year ended December 31, 2016. Shareholders also approved a total dividend of 25 per cent, comprising a cash dividend of 15 per cent and a stock dividend of ten per cent for the financial year 2016.
OMINVEST’s group revenues rose by 59 per cent to RO227mn and group net profit grew by one per cent to RO37.6mn over the same period in 2015. OMINVEST’s share of the group net profit stood at RO23.9mn compared to RO22.9m, a growth of four per cent, over the same period in 2015. The growth in net profit was attributable mainly to the strong growth in the new subsidiary Oman National Investment Corporation (ONIC) which recorded total investment income of RO7.1mn for the year ended December 31, 2016, a press release said.
Oman Arab Bank (OAB), increased its net loans and advances by five per cent to RO1.59bn and customer deposits by two per cent to RO1.64bn, as at 31 December 2016, over the same period in 2015. OAB reported a net profit of RO24mn for the year ended December 31, 2016, a decline of 16 per cent as compared to last year, primarily due to sudden rise in cost of funding amid a liquidity crunch, drop in non-interest income and sharp rise in provisions. National Life & General Insurance Company (NLGIC) continued its steady growth with net insurance premiums rising by 25 per cent to RO57mn for the year ended December 31, 2016, signifying the underlying growth in the broader insurance sector, and more importantly, major gains in NLGIC’s market share. NLGIC’s net profit rose by eight per cent to RO4.7mn, over the same period in 2015.
Profits from OMINVEST’S associate companies rose to RO8mn compared to RO3.8mn, a growth of 110 per cent, mainly driven by the merger with ONIC Holding on August 19, 2015 which increased the total number of associates from three to 11. OMINVEST’S investments in associate companies have helped enhance and diversify the income sources – ensuring steady profitability in future years.
Despite an exceptionally difficult environment for local and regional businesses, OMINVEST’s performance in 2016 stayed relatively resilient and the company delivered healthy performance for the year.
OMINVEST tightly controlled its operating expenses, which stayed flat compared to last year. The cost to income ratio stood at around 12 per cent, among the lowest versus peers in the region. During the current downturn, OMINVEST opportunistically increased leverage at competitive rates to be able to buy high quality businesses at attractive valuations, putting in place a recurring stream of yearly dividends and potential for capital gains, over the long term. As a result of its opportunistic investments, its debt/equity ratio modestly increased to 58 per cent.
OMINVEST, along with its strategic partners, Oman Investment Fund (OIF) and Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd, has established Ubhar Capital (U Capital), which envisions to become Oman’s leading independent investment banking platform. U Capital has acquired Oman Arab Bank’s investment banking business OABINVEST, which has a long-standing track record in corporate finance, asset management, brokerage and a leading market share in Oman.
With the support of the strategic partners and committed stakeholders, OMINVEST is focused on building U Capital into one of the largest and most valuable Omani Investment Company & Asset Manager – with regional capabilities and international reach, commented Khalid Muhammad al Zubair, chairman of OMINVEST.
Although, the current business conditions are challenging, OMINVEST is optimistic about its strong financial position and future prospects and remain highly supportive of the major initiatives that the management has undertaken.
OMINVEST will continue to play a key role in Oman’s economic growth; creating job opportunities for Omani nationals and helping businesses grow and attracting investments to the sultanate.