Banking and finance in Oman

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's practice is led by Roger Byrne who has 'very much a "hands on" approach' and is 'an outstanding figure when it comes to banking and finance matters'. Highlights for the team included advising Bank Muscat on a syndicated loan facility of $57m provided to Al Hae'l Ceramic Company, which adopted a shari'ah-compliant Musharakah structure. Byrne is regularly assisted by associate James Shaw, who recently relocated from the firm's Manchester office. The firm is also able to draw upon its international network with project finance expert Robin Hickman, who is based in Dubai, another important member of the team. Andrew Johnston relocated to Australia, joining Sparke Helmore Lawyers .

Practice head(s):

Roger Byrne 

Testimonials

‘The team at AG Oman is practical and solutions-oriented and provide creative solutions.’

‘Roger Byrne and associate James Shaw are committed to the success of the deal, provide timely inputs and manage the transactions effectively.’

‘Experienced and professional. Pragmatic and focussed on getting the job done.’

Key clients

Bank Muscat

Sohar International Bank

National Bank of Oman

HSBC Bank Oman

Oman Telecommunications Company

Alizz Islamic Bank

Bank Dhofar

Bank Nizwa

Ahli Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Mizho Bank, Limited

The Commercial Bank

Marubeni Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Sohar International Bank SAOG on its issue of OMR100,000,000 propetual bonds and drafting and advising on the prospectus, corporate and regulatory issues.
  • Assisting Bank Muscat SAOG and an international and domestic lending syndicate with the $625m syndicated secured financing for refinancing and expansion capital to Octal for its plastics manufacturing plant at Salalah in Oman.
  • Assisting a Marubeni-led syndicate with the $73m secured solar power project financing for Oman’s first solar power project and associated securities package and advising sponsors on Oman law issues.

Al Busaidy, Mansoor Jamal & Co

For some, Al Busaidy, Mansoor Jamal & Co is 'the pre-eminent local firm in Oman by a long stretch' and is regularly instructed on energy project financings as the team 'knows the market' and 'can guide sponsors and lenders across the line with ease'. In an example of its strength in this area, it assisted Bank Muscat with the $72m financing of the Amin Solar PV IPP project. Practice co-head Mansoor Jamal Malik is 'a highly respected name in the market' who 'marries the law with commercial advice very well'. Fellow co-head Marcus Pery  advised Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Company on its $4.61bn financing from local and international banks. Senior associates Andrew Coddington and Abubaker Abudayyeh, as well as associate Robert Calleja, are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Mansoor Jamal Malik; Marcus Pery

Testimonials

‘Solution oriented.  Positive communication and instructions are understood the first time round and well executed. Always reliable.’

‘Highly responsive, excellent value for money and well drafted work product with only minor revisions required.’

‘Marcus Pery and Andrew Coddington repeatedly deliver timely, valued advice and are always willingly to adopt a pragmatic approach to deliver solutions.’

‘The team is overall very experienced and knowledgeable in banking and project finance.’

‘Some of the associates are excellent so you can be comfortable taking advice from them without having a partner heavily involved as well.’

‘The team is also quite large so for bigger ticket transactions you can rely on them to ramp up as needed.’

‘I have come across a few firms in Oman and AMJ are in my opinion the best one.’

‘Marcus Pery is experienced and knowledgeable and gives pragmatic advice.’

‘Robert Calleja is always solution orientated. He gives sound advice and is able to resolve problems in transactions with ease. At the beginning I thought he was a senior associate so I do think he has real potential. I think he is “one to watch”.’

‘Abubaker Abudayyeh is a senior banking lawyer and his knowledge for us on one transaction was exceptional. He is very professional and has a “can do” attitude.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Standard Chartered Bank on a proposed amortising term loan facility for the government of the Sultanate of Oman.
  • Assisted Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank with the financing for the engineering, procurement and construction of three hospitals in Oman, such loans to be made to the government of the Sultanate of Oman.
  • Advised Octal on its $625m financing agreement with Bank Muscat.

Dentons

Dentons is a key name in the market for capital markets, Islamic finance and project finance transactions. Sadaf Buchanan leads the team and was instructed as local counsel on the $4.61bn financing of the Duqm Refinery Project, the largest project financing in Oman. Another key highlight was advising Standard Chartered Bank on its role as deal on the Omani government's $1.5bn sukuk issuance. Of counsel Justine Harding is another key name and regularly supports Buchanan on major mandates.

Practice head(s):

Sadaf Buchanan

Key clients

BankDhofar SAOG

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

National Bank of Oman

Latham & Watkins

Oman Gas Company

Work highlights

  • Acted as Bank Dhofar Soag’s legal counsel on its issuance of Basel III compliant additional tier one perpetual bonds by way of private placement.
  • Acted as counsel to the government of Oman on the restructuring of its gas transportation network to a regulated asset base model.
  • Advised First Abu Dhabi Bank on its $1.5bn loan facility to Oman Oil Company.

Al Alawi & Co. Advocates & Legal Consultants

Al Alawi & Co. Advocates & Legal Consultants is jointly led by Riza Ismail who joined from Trowers & Hamlins LLP and is particularly noted for her strength in Islamic finance. She recently advised Al Yusr Islamic Banking and Oman Arab Bank on the financing of a water network pipeline through an istisna’ musharakah structure. Also leading the team is Sahil Taneja, who alongside Ismail assisted Majan Glass Company with its its convertible loan agreement with Oman Investment Fund.

Practice head(s):

Riza Ismail; Sahil Taneja

Key clients

Qatar National Bank

Al Yusr Islamic Banking Unit, Oman Arab Bank

Maisarah Islamic Banking, Bank Dhofar

Al Hilal Islamic Banking

Ahli Bank

Dhofar DesalinationCompany

Salalah Free ZoneCompany

Work highlights

  • Advised Al Yusr Islamic Banking,Oman Arab Bank on an  istisna’-diminishing musharaka transaction.
  • Assisted Al Hilal Islamic Banking, AhliBank with the  development of Islamic standard documents for Al Hilal Islamic Banking, Ahli Bank.
  • Advised Al Yusr Islamic Banking, Oman Arab Bank on updating its suite of Islamic finance products.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP provides 'excellent legal support and insight' in 'a very flexible and open manner'. The team assisted Oman Broadband Company and the sponsor Oman Investment Fund with the $230m development and financing of nationwide telecoms and fibre optic infrastructure. Leopold Zentner heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Leopold Zentner

Testimonials

Excellent legal support and insight.

A very flexible and open manner.

Key clients

Ahli Bank

Oman Arab Bank

Bank Nizwa

Al Izz Islamic Bank

National Bank of Oman

Bank Muscat

Bank Dhofar

Taageer Finance Company

National FinanceCompany

Oman Broadband Company

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of Omani banks on the restructuring of the project finance facilities of Oman aluminium rolling mills project.
  • Assisted the sponsors, Oman Chlorine SAOG and Oman Industrial Development Company, with its $65m loan facility granted to their subsidiary Union Chlorine LLC, established in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising CA Indosuez on cross-border trade financing.

Said Al-Shahry & Partners (SASLO)

Said Al-Shahry & Partners (SASLO)'s team was strengthened in 2018 by the arrival of Graham Mouat who is very strong in leasing transactions as well as aircraft and shipping finance. Thamer Al Shahry is another key figure and is particularly skilled in project finance. The duo advised Bank Muscat on the Islamic financing of a five-star hotel project in Salalah.

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Ahli Bank SAOG

Ahli United Bank B.S.C.

Al Hilal Mena Fund

Alizz Islamic Bank

Baader Bank AG

Bank Muscat SAOG

Barka Desalination Company SAOC

Barwa Bank

Capital Market Authority

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

GIB International Bank (UK) Limited

HSBC Bank Oman SAOC

LaSalle Investment Management

Lone Star Fund

Muscat Finance SAOG

OCBC Bank

Oman Development Bank SAOC

Oman Growth Fund

Oman Shipping Company SAOC

Shinsei Bank

World Bank Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Ahli Bank Oman on the private bond issuance of 50 million perpetual bonds.