Oman's Bank Dhofar gets $68 mln after court ruling overturned

DUBAI, March 25 Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:57am EDT

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DUBAI, March 25 (Reuters) - Oman's Primary Court has returned 26.1 million rials ($67.8 million) to Bank Dhofar , Oman's second-largest lender by market value, after an appeals court overturned a 2011 ruling against it, the bank said on Monday.

Bank Dhofar lost a court case in June 2011 against Oman International Bank and Ali Redha Trading and Muttrah Holding over the ownership of 1,925,000 Bank Dhofar shares and was forced to transfer the money to the court as a deposit.

The ruling was overturned by Oman's Appeals Court in March 2012.

"Bank Dhofar would like to announce to its shareholders and the investor community that it has received from the Primary Court in Muscat a cheque of 26.1 million rials," a bourse filing from the bank said on Monday.

The bank's resulting provision had a significant impact on its earnings in 2011, contributing to a 58 percent drop in net profit versus the previous year.

Analysts said that under normal practices if the cash is received by March 31, the bank should be able to book that amount as a gain in its first-quarter results.

Such a boost could be significant, given that its net profit in the first six months of 2012 was 19.5 million rials.

Bank Dhofar executives could not immediately be reached for comment.

The announcement was made after trading hours. Bank Dhofar shares closed 1.6 percent higher on Monday, against a flat wider market.

($1 = 0.3850 Omani rials) (Reporting by David French; Editing by Jane Baird)

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