Live Currency Rates
 
  Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

ONIC eyes acquisitions in Oman, GCC region  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Times of Oman - 30/03/2010

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


 


(MENAFN - Times of Oman) Oman National Investment Corporation Holding SAOG (ONIC) is looking for strategic acquisitions in Oman and the GCC region to strengthen its position in the insurance sector, its group chief executive said.

"As a holding company, we are always looking for opportunities both within and outside Oman," said Sayyida Rawan Ahmed Al Said. Revenues from the insurance units of ONIC accounted for the bulk of its turnover at present while income from its associates and investment income from its market portfolio make up for the balance.

ONIC's equity market portfolio is around RO12 million and generated an overall return of over 35 per cent in 2009, she said. The portfolio is predominantly invested in the GCC with a small amount outside including that in India.

"Given the fact that oil prices are above the 70 per barrel range, we feel that the GCC economies should witness continued growth momentum," she added. Crude oil prices were hovering around 80 per barrel on Monday. Investment expenditure and government support will be the key drivers for our markets, she added.

ONIC would continue to focus on its core business of insurance since the insurance industry in Oman is expected to grow by 15 per cent while the GCC, as a region, also has good potential, Al Said said.

"We will focus on the insurance sector for strategic acquisitions and will continue to focus on this region for both organic and inorganic growth as we believe in the region's fundamentals," she said in an e-mailed reply to a questionnaire.

Earlier this year, ONIC entered into an agreement with the Middle East unit of British insurer RSA Group, under which RSA Oman would acquir Al Ahlia Insurance Company from ONIC Holding while the latter acquired a 20.03 per cent stake in RSA Oman. RSA Group holds 50.01 per cent in its Middle East unit which, in turn, holds 69 per cent in RSA Oman.

ONIC would now work towards optimising the synergies between the two insurance firms in Oman but an immediate merger between Al Ahlia and RSA Oman were not on the cards owing to different business models of the two firms, she said."We see enormous synergies going forward given the brand name, network, management and Omani workforce of Al Ahlia," the official said. Al-Ahlia earned a gross premium income of over RO27 million in 2009 with motor insurance playing a key role in its premium income even though it also faced a high claim ratio in motor insurance.

ONIC, in which Dubai Financial is the largest shareholder with about 41.1 per cent stake, may consider setting up its own asset management company in future to leverage its experience in managing strategic as well as equity market portfolio, the official said. It, however, has no plans to actively enter into commercial banking, she added.

The predominantly financial services holding company operates two insurance firms as subsidiaries and has several affiliates within Oman as well as overseas such as Canada, Pakistan and Bahrain, according to information published on its website.It also holds 15.83 per cent stake in Oman Chlorine, a downstream player in the oil and gas sector. "It is performing well and we will consider unlocking value at a suitable time like all other investments in our portfolio," she said when asked about the management's plans about its investment in the firm.

 






  MENA News Headlines


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help