Oman urges consolidation of banks to be competitive

Oman's Capital Market Authority (CMA) is encouraging consolidation in the country’s crowded financial sector, aiming in the long term for local banks to build a regional presence in the Gulf region. There are now 18 banks in the sultanate, whereas Oman’s three largest lenders account for approximately two-thirds of banking assets. According to Abdullah Salem Al Salmi, CMA’s executive president, the crowded field could lead to cutthroat competition, which would be unhealthy for the market and cause new entrants to struggle. However, he did not specify any ways in which the CMA might encourage consolidation.