Bank Muscat S.A.O.G., now Oman's largest bank following the merger with Commercial Bank of Oman in December 2000, signed a contract with Midas-Kapiti International Ltd (MKI) at the end of November 2000 for the implementation of the company’s market leading Trade Innovation solution in Oman and India, to support the bank's rapidly expanding international trade finance operations.

Bank Muscat's trade finance activities are well known for their innovation and quality of service and with the expanded market share gained through the merger, the bank is focusing on the use of the latest technology to maintain and enhance customer service. On completion of the merger formalities at the end of December last year, Bank Muscat became the dominant player in Oman’s trade finance business with a market share of more than 40%.

Musallam Al-Shukairy, Bank Muscat's Assistant General Manager for Trade Finance and Overseas Credit, comments : "The implementation of a new system using the latest technology is an essential foundation for enhancing customer service in a variety of ways. Its immediate effect will be to provide us with the ability to further enhance productivity and speed of responsiveness to our customers. Ultimately, we shall be providing our corporate customers with the ability to initiate transactions and make enquiries about the progress of transactions using dial up or Internet connections. Bank Muscat will be well placed to meet the challenges of e-Commerce."

Asked why, after its evaluation of trade finance systems, Bank Muscat had selected Trade Innovation, Musallam Al-Shukairy said, "Our objectives are to ensure that our customers benefit from the investment as soon as possible and that the chosen system could provide a high degree of integration with our core banking system. Trade Innovation met our requirements on both these fronts, being quick to implement and a very open system giving us the integration potential we require. Its flexibility also allows us to use the same system in our Indian operation, which has different regulatory requirements. We are also comfortable with the level and direction of MKI's ongoing investment in the product, which will allow us and our customers to benefit from technological developments and new industry standards in the trade finance business arena, such as BOLERO."

Trade Innovation provides comprehensive support for trade finance activities, including Letters of Credit, Collections, Guarantees, Syndications and Trade-related lending. It was designed in conjunction with banks which are leaders in the Trade Finance field. Alan Prior, General Manager for MKI’s Middle East operations, comments, "We are very proud to be associated with the largest bank in Oman and look forward to working with the bank to ensure that the benefits of its investment are realised as soon as possible. One of the key benefits of Trade Innovation is the balance in its design between speed of implementation and flexibility, providing banks with the best of both worlds."

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