* Bank Nizwa to offer 40 percent of capital
* Subscription starts April 23
* Rival Islamic lender Al Izz also eyeing IPO
DUBAI, April 16 Omani lender Bank Nizwa, the
sultanate's first Islamic bank, plans to raise $156 million by
selling 40 percent of capital in an initial public offering on
the Muscat Securities Market.
The bank is not yet operational and has only a
representative office. Three branch openings are planned after
"Bank Nizwa will start IPO subscription on April 23. The
bank is offering 600 million shares, with a par value of 102
baisas each, including two baisas for meeting issue expenses,"
the lender said in a statement.
The subscription period will last one month.
Bank Nizwa, sponsored by Al Khalili Group and other local
shareholders, has a capital base of 150 million rials ($390
million) and the IPO is being managed by local lender Oman Arab
The shares are expected to list on June 6 and the bank is
expected to be operational by July this year.
While neighbouring Gulf states have ramped up Islamic
finance services in recent years, Oman stood out by refusing to
participate in the industry, with its central bank head saying
in 2007 "banks should be universal". The central bank reversed
that stance last year.
Another Islamic bank under formation, Al Izz International
Bank is expected to issue an IPO of 40 percent of its 100
million rials capital by June this year, central bank of Oman
said earlier this year.
Conventional lenders are also allowed to establish Islamic
banking windows in the non-OPEC oil producer.
Both Bank Muscat and National Bank of Oman
have said they would do so, while Standard Chartered is
considering whether to offer sharia-compliant services.
($1 = 0.3851 Omani rials)
(Reporting by Saleh Al-Shaibany; Editing by Dinesh Nair)