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MENAFN - Times of Oman - 07/03/2010

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(MENAFN - Times of Oman) The first international investor conference organised by BankMuscat has achieved its objective of generating strong investor interest in listed Omani companies.

Leading fund managers said the conference succeeded in highlighting value companies against the backdrop of Oman's positive macro-economic fundamentals. Fifteen high performing companies from Oman and Saudi Arabia were strategically positioned at the conference, offering a good chance for investors to take a close look at them.

Gopakumar K, general manager, Wholesale Banking, said the first-of-its-kind conference organised in Oman evoked positive response from leading companies and fund managers.

"BankMuscat is proud to take this initiative which has been hugely welcomed and praised by all who are looking forward to this as an annual event. The conference will translate into better business opportunities for Omani companies as a great deal of goodwill has been generated. BankMuscat feels gratified to play an active role in furthering the development of the capital market in Oman," Gopakumar said.

The 15 best performing companies showcased at the conference represented all key sectors. The face-to-face meetings proved rewarding as investors obtained relevant information critical to clients. "Access to right information is a critical factor for success of investment business. The conference helped in building strong relationships between investors and companies. The positive response generated by the conference is reflected in the anticipation that this will continue as an annual event," Abdullah Al Hinai, AGM, Investment Banking, said.

Yasmine Ali from Beltone Asset Managemet, Egypt, said, "This has been a long-awaited opportunity to meet high performing Omani companies in one place. Among the reasons for optimism on Omani companies is that the economy in general was sheltered from the adverse impact of the global financial crisis. The conference provided a great opportunity to identify value companies."

Shaker Anwar AlKazemi, Investment Analyst, Global Investment House, Kuwait, said the conference was very informative. "The conference provided fresh insight on the Omani market. The organisation of the conference was of a very high professional standard. Often, it is not easy to meet the top management of companies, but the conference provided access to top decision makers of companies, including CEOs and CFOs. We could gather relevant and detailed information on these companies."

Khalid Al Gwaiz, chief executive officer of Astra Industrial Group, Saudi Arabia, said, "The meet was very serious business for us. Better understanding by investors help in achieving the objective of shareholders and stakeholders."

"I am very pleased with the hospitality and conference arrangements and hope this gets rolling as an annual event. International investors are beginning to pay more attention to the region and the conference has no doubt stoked interest in the GCC markets," Al Gwaiz said.

R Gangadharan, Head of Finance, Contracting, Al Hassan Engineering Company, said the conference was an excellent platform for companies to interact with leading fund managers. "This was an excellent conference in terms of organisation and participation, which will lead to increasing the depth of Omani capital market. Al Hassan generated strong interest from leading investors," Gangadharan said.

Stephen R. Thomas, chief executive officer, Renaissance Services, said, "Every time investors and companies get together, there is increasing understanding as transparent disclosures serve the interest of individual companies and the market. The conference was very well organised and this is a great start. The one-to-one sessions were very intense and this was a real opportunity to maximise investor interest in our company."


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