What are the most significant developments at BankDhofar over the past year?
Despite the economic impact of COVID-19 on businesses and individuals, we successfully adapted to the inevitable reality while remaining consistent with our customer-centric business approach. That allowed us to accelerate our operations to ensure customers were not badly hit while still had access to a unique and commemorating banking experience. Consequently, we gained ground in terms of maintaining the highest levels of customer satisfaction through meeting their banking requirements and we introduced new services that were more convenient to fulfil their needs. Moreover, for the ease of our stakeholders who were affected by the pandemic, we obtained the regulators' approval to adjust certain agreements in order to manage the economic burden on their businesses, and we worked closely to help them get through these difficult times. In terms of business, our financial results showed positive growth despite the overall slow economy, and we continued to look for more investment opportunities in Oman and abroad to increase liquidity and prepare for the post-COVID-19 stage. Internally, we implemented various training and development programs to get our teams ready for future challenges across all organizational levels, as well as different initiatives to speed up our processes so we are equipped to serve BankDhofar customers in the best possible way.
Where do the major opportunities for investment lie in Oman?
In financial sector, consolidation is more viable than expansion. The Omani market is relatively small, which requires rather focused and sophisticated financial services that cater to the needs of local and international investors. Creating larger banks through merger and acquisitions domestically or partnering with international banks would bring in world-level expertise to the Sultanate and accelerate the service quality for Omani banks, introduce more services, bring in new technology and expand the reach of the local banks. We are hopeful that the economy system would accommodate and nurture various large-scale projects in sectors that have a great potential for expansion like mining, tourism, logistics and supply chain, trade and transportation, renewable energy, manufacturing, vocational training and education, IT and technology infrastructure.