18 June 2015
MUSCAT: Falcon Insurance, a subsidiary of Al Anwar Holding, plans to float an initial public offering on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM), the parent company said in a disclosure statement on Wednesday.
The flotation is subject to approval by regulators and shareholders, Al Anwar Holding, which has a 51 per cent stake in Falcon, said in the statement. However, the company did not make it clear whether the issue will be additional shares or disinvestment of existing shareholders or a combination of both.
Details such as the volume of the offer, price and timing will be finalised and announced after receiving those approvals, it said.
Market sources said that the insurance regulator Capital Market Authority (CMA) last year asked national insurance companies to go public within three years (in line with an amendment in Insurance Companies Law) and that is one of the reasons for Falcon's proposed share offer. Also, Falcon has to raise its paid-up capital to OMR10 million in line with the CMA stipulation on minimum capital.
As many as eight locally incorporated insurance companies, including a reinsurance firm, will offer shares to investing public within three years to comply with the recent amendments in insurance law.l
Apart from Falcon, the national insurance firms that are expected to float shares on the local bourse are Al Ahlia Insurance Company, Muscat Insurance, Muscat Life Insurance, National Life Insurance, Oman & Qatar Insurance and Vision Insurance.
Further, the Sultanate's only reinsurance firm -- Oman Reinsurance Company - will issue shares to investing public.
Although the Sultanate has 22 insurance companies (11 locally incorporated and 11 branch operations of foreign firms), only four companies -- Dhofar Insurance, Oman United Insurance, Al Madina Takaful and Takaful Oman -- are listed. Of this, Al Madina Takaful and Takaful Oman are Islamic insurance firms.Of the 22 companies, 16 firms do not have the stipulated OMR10 million minimum capital and six firms have either OMR10 million or more paid up capital.
Currently, only new companies are required to have a minimum capital of OMR10 million and need to go public when listing shares on the local bourse.
© Times of Oman 2015