Oman's bank Nizwa attracts $1.77 billion in IPO

MUSCAT Sat May 26, 2012 5:32am EDT

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MUSCAT (Reuters) - Omani lender Bank Nizwa, the sultanate's first Islamic bank, attracted 681 million rials ($1.77 billion) of bids in its initial public offer of shares, 11 times the sum which it was raising, the lead manager for the IPO said on Saturday.

The bank will be listed on the Muscat Securities Market on June 12, Oman Arab Bank said. Bank Nizwa raised 60 million rials by selling 40 percent of its capital.

Oman reversed its prohibition on Islamic finance last year and now intends to develop the industry, seeing economic and political benefits. Bank Nizwa is not yet operational and has only a representative office; three branch openings are planned after the IPO.

Another Islamic bank under formation, Al Izz International Bank, is expected to conduct an IPO of 40 percent of its 100 million rial capital by June, the central bank said earlier this year.

(Reporting by Saleh al-Shaibani; Writing by Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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