UPDATE 1-Bank Muscat considers sale of brokerage unit

Mon Jun 9, 2014 2:45am EDT

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June 9 (Reuters) - Bank Muscat, the sultanate's largest lender, is considering a sale of its brokerage unit as one of several "strategic options" for the business, the bank said in a bourse filing on Monday.

The lender did not give a size or time frame for the potential sale of the unit. In the meantime the division, one of 21 licensed brokerages in Oman, will continue its operations with no impact on customers, the bank said.

Bank Muscat does not break out the financial performance of the brokerage business in its annual reports. In addition to serving foreign and domestic clients within Oman, the unit provides brokerage services on some other regional bourses through a network of partners, the bank's website says.

According to stock exchange data, Bank Muscat's brokerage had the third biggest share of Oman securities trading last year with 10.6 percent. The total value of securities trading in 2013 was 239.1 million rials ($623 million). (Reporting by Bernardo Vizcaino; Additional reporting by Nadia Saleem; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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