Standard Chartered ‘seeking to sell’ Oman retail banking business

Standard Chartered is seeking to sell its retail banking business in Oman and has shelved a plan to close its Islamic retail business in Bahrain, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The British bank, which earns most of its profit in Asia, will retain its corporate and institutional clients in Oman, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The sale in Oman, where it has three branches and employs about 100 people, may be offered to local banks, according to one of the people.

London-based Standard Chartered is scaling back after two years of falling profit amid slower economic growth in Asia. A 35 per cent drop in shares in the last two years has led to a shakeup in top management, with chairman John Peace, chief executive Peter Sands, Asia head Jaspal Bindra and Viswanathan Shankar, head of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Americas, all set to leave.


Standard Chartered decided to reverse a decision to exit from its Islamic retail business in Bahrain after it faced regulatory hurdles, the people said, without giving further details. It isn’t clear when the sale may be revived, they said.

A spokesman for Standard Chartered declined to comment while a spokeswoman for the Central Bank of Bahrain didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and text message seeking comment.

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