Banking and finance in Oman

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard‘s market-leading team continue to handle some of Oman’s largest and most sophisticated transactions, such as advising The Commercial Bank on its proposed acquisition of a majority of the shares in National Bank of Oman. Regional practice head, Roger Byrne has over 25 years of experience across the GCC, and is an authority in corporate finance, infrastructure and project finance. He also assists issuers and issue managers on debt capital market transactions and sponsors establishing investment funds. Senior associate James Shaw is also recommended for real estate, leveraged, acquisition and asset finance.

Practice head(s):

Roger Byrne

Other key lawyers:

James Shaw

Testimonials

‘Understanding of Islamic Banking, Ability to capture the transaction essence in palatable, easy to understand text. Attention to detail’

‘Diverse experience and very knowledgeable team. Good understanding of Islamic banking and finance with fast turnaround times and a cost-effective service.’

‘James Shaw has a good understanding of Islamic banking and finance. He is very approachable and solution orientated.’

‘Addleshaws Goddard (Oman) provide a great service in that their advice displays a combination of a good knowledge of Omani law as well as the equally valued ability to set it in a commercial context. In addition, their team reflects a high level of diversity as well as of collaboration, both which have proved very beneficial in the service they have delivered.’

‘Roger Byrne provides both excellent leadership for Addleshaws Goddard (Oman) – displays a combination of a good knowledge of Omani law as well as the equally valued ability to set it in a commercial context.’

‘AG in general, and James Shaw in particular, is very clear, very professional, polite, calm, knowledgeable, solution provider and ever available. We have seen on every occasion, and consistently, their thoroughness and every availability, with complete calmness. This adds tremendous value to both our relationship, and that with our clients.’

Key clients

Bank Muscat SAOG

Qatari Diar / Ras Al Hadd Luxury Services SPC

Mashreqbank psc

HSBC Bank Oman SAOG and HSBC plc

Alizz Islamic Bank SAOC

The Commercial Bank

Ahli Bank SAOG

National Bank of Oman SAOG

Gulf International Poultry Farms LLC

Oman Arab Bank SAOG

BankDhofar SAOG

Bank Nizwa SAOG

Nama Group

Standard Chartered Bank

Sohar International Bank SAOG

Mizuho Bank

Zubair Holding SAOC

Work highlights

  • Bank Muscat through a participation structure, acquired an interest in the employee home loan facilities book of Petroleum Development Oman LLC. The team helped Bank Muscat structure the transaction, obtain the associated securities package and advising on all regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Oman and relevant Ministries.
  • Advising Mazoon Electricity Company SAOC on its US$ 235 million 2021 Islamic Ijara Bridge Loan Facility arranged by National Bank of Bahrain and led by Kuwait International Bank and obtaining required regulatory consents from the Authority for Public Service Regulation.
  • Advising the Issue Dealers in connection with the OQ SAOC US$2 Billion Global Medium Term Note Programme.

Al Busaidy, Mansoor Jamal & Co

Al Busaidy, Mansoor Jamal & Co is routinely involved in the most significant projects and financing transactions, both conventional and Islamic, occurring in the Omani market. The team is co-led by Mansoor Jamal Malik and Marcus Pery and is well-equipped to advise on project, acquisition and real estate finance, re-capitalisations, corporate restructurings and regulatory issues. The firm is also distinctly one of the few market players with strong aviation and ship finance expertise. Associate Zarrar Mir is recommended for Islamic banking mandates.

Practice head(s):

Mansoor Jamal Malik; Marcus Pery

Other key lawyers:

Zarrar Mir

Testimonials

‘The team has diverse experience, very knowledgable with a good understanding of Islamic banking and finance. Cost-effective.’

‘Zarrar Mir has a good understanding of Islamic banking and finance, provides fast turn around times. Very approachable and solution orientated.’ 

‘The team is diversified in terms of domain expertise and is well versed with the subject of banking and financial transactional agreements. The team is to the point and more importantly, punctual in their deliverables.’

Key clients

Bank Muscat SAOG

Bank Muscat – Meethaq Islamic Banking

Oman Arab Bank SAOC

Arab Banking Corporation B.S.C.

Arab Bank Plc

Sohar International Bank SAOG

National Bank of Oman SAOG

Renaissance Services SAOG

Octal SAOC FZC

Ahli Bank SAOG

Bank Dhofar SAOG

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

Gulf International Bank B.S.C.

Emirates NBD PJSC

Moon Iron & Steel Co SAOC

Bank Nizwa SAOG

Work highlights

  • Advising the lenders to GS Inima Barka 5 Desalination Company S.A.O.C. (Project Company) on the Barka 5 IWP Project.
  • AMJ advised the Government of the Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Ministry of Finance as the Borrower on a supply side financing solution.
  • Advised Oman Arab Bank S.A.O.G. as Agent for the Finance Parties in connection with a facility for National Life & General Insurance Company SAOG to acquire shares in Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (Middle East) B.S.C, Bahrain.

Dentons

Sadaf Buchanan leads the banking team at Dentons‘s Oman office, where she has almost 20 years of experience in restructuring and finance across the Middle East. She is also actively supporting the development of the capital markets through her work with Gulf Bond and Sukuk Association, and has co-founded Sayyidaat Dentons, the firm’s women’s network. Counsel Justine Harding acts for international and local banks, borrowers and issuers on local and cross-border transactions, including debt capital markets transactions. The firm is particularly strong in infrastructure and project finance, particularly in oil and gas projects. 

Practice head(s):

Sadaf Buchanan

Other key lawyers:

Justine Harding

Testimonials

‘Dentons provides a very experienced team with broad specialities in the Omani market. They are very customer-centric and professional in dealing with their clients, which makes them reliable long term partners.’

‘When working with Sadaf Buchanan we know we are getting high quality advisory. Her in-depth understanding of the local market combined with her high professional standards, in a market where not many people hold up to the high standards, make her a very valuable asset to her clients.’

Key clients

Mohammed Al Barwani Holding Co LLC

Energy Development Oman SAOC

Al Shawamikh Oil Services SAOC

Work highlights

  • Advised Mohammed Al Barwani Holding Co LLC on an exchange offer, whereby the existing sukuk issued by the company in 2016 was exchanged for new securities, we advised on extending maturities and amending covenants.
  • Advised as Oman and English law counsel in relation to its debut US$2.5 billion term loan credit facility.

Said Al-Shahry & Partners (SASLO)

Said Al-Shahry & Partners (SASLO)‘s ‘remarkably experienced and savvy team’ continues to be active in Oman’s growing banking and capital markets practice, recently advising on the launch of two new open-ended mutual funds that will be listed on the Muscat Stock Exchange. Graham Mouat and corporate lawyer Jeremy Pooley have a long international track record of advising on the establishment of investment funds. Core areas of instruction are project finance, mezzanine, acquisition and Islamic finance, restructuring and banking disputes. Name partner Thamer Al-Shahry is also highly recommended for Omani banking and capital markets work.

Practice head(s):

Graham Mouat

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Pooley

Testimonials

‘SASLO has a remarkably experienced and savvy team for banking and finance matters.’

‘Graham is a seasoned professional who has concluded a number of large financing deals in the country. ‘

‘Jeremy Pooley is sharp and switched on, and brings an excellent mind to financing transactions.’

 

Key clients

Ahli Bank SAOG

Bank Nizwa SAOG

GS Inima Environment SA

Work highlights

  • Advised GS Inima Environment S.A. in relation to the financial close of Barka V Independent Water Project (IWP) at Barka and to the Ghubrah III Independent Water Project (IWP) at Ghubra.
  • Advised Bank Nizwa SAOG, a leading Islamic bank in Oman, on its OMR 70 million rights issue.
  • Advised Ahli Bank SAOG on its OMR 75,000,000 perpetual bond issue.

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company is a well known player across the MENA region and demonstrates strong capabilities in project, acquisition and real estate finance, Islamic finance and debt capital markets. It is also active in the financial regulatory space and actively advise clients on regulatory issues vis-à-vis the Central Bank of Oman and the Capital Markets Authority. Ahmed Al Barwani and senior counsel Sakshi Puri are assisted by a large cross-border team based in the Dubai and Qatar offices.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Al Barwani; Sakshi Puri

Key clients

Wells Fargo

Federal Bank Limited and Bank of Baroda

HSBC

Arab Petroleum Investors Corporation

Mashreqbank psc

National Bank of Kuwait

Saudi British Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for Federal Bank Limited and Bank of Baroda in relation to the financing and refinancing of US$ exchange company facilities in the cumulative amount of US$ 20m to Lulu Exchange Co. LLC and Asia Express Exchange Company LLC in Oman.
  • Acted for HSBC Bank Oman S.A.O.G, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, Arab Petroleum Investors Corporation, Mashreqbank psc, National Bank of Kuwait and Saudi British Bank as Oman law counsel in connection with a US $ 450m term loan to Gulf Energy SAOG.
  • Advising Wells Fargo on a number of legal and regulatory issues pertaining to doing business in Oman.

Abdul Redha Haider Advocacy & Legal Counsels

Abdul Redha Haider Advocacy & Legal Counsels‘s banking practice is led by Abdulredha Al Lawati, who clients hail as ‘a very accomplished Omani lawyer who is building up a local law presence'. Special counsel Priyanshu Kumar and AbuBakr El Tayeb both specialists in corporate finance, joined the growing practice, from banking boutiques in Singapore and Oman, respectively. The practice predominantly advises on corporate finance, fintech/digital finance, licensing and regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Abdulredha Al Lawati

Other key lawyers:

Priyanshu Kumar; AbuBakr El Tayeb

Testimonials

‘Abdulredha Al Lawati is a very accomplished Omani lawyer who is building up a local law presence which should, in time, be in a strong position to take on the bigger, more established local law firms. In fact, ALC is already doing so, particularly in the banking and finance sector which, in Oman, is seeing a lot of change with the established banking practitioners in other firms leaving their roles and the country.’

‘Abdulredha Al Lawati is knowledgeable, capable and a pleasure to do business with. We refer all banking and finance work required by our clients to ALC.’

Key clients

Al Mouj Muscat

Majid Al Futtaim – Retail Business

Maysan Properties SAOC

Artelia Muscat Engineering LLC

Muscat Hills Development LLC

Q-Net

Jawad Business Group

Green Tech Mining & Services LLC

BPG – Listed company at Vienna

Towell Group

Business Gateways International LLC

Total Safety US

Work highlights

  • Advised a group of individual buyers on the acquisition of Vision Assets Management SAOC.
  • Advised BPG on the acquisition of Green Tech Mining and Services LLC.
  • Advised HYDRO LLC on the partners JV over a utility in Samail, Al Dakhiliya region.

BSA Al Rashdi & Al Barwani Advocates & Legal Consultants

Under the leadership of Arsalan Tariq, the team at BSA Al Rashdi & Al Barwani Advocates & Legal Consultants is especially well-versed in fund formation, project finance, capital markets work, Islamic finance, trade financing, corporate lending and asset finance. Its key sectors of activity include real estate and hospitality, aquaculture, logistics, infrastructure and aviation. A key differentiator for the firm is its strong regional presence which includes overseas offices in Lebanon, Iraq, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Practice head(s):

Arsalan Tariq

Other key lawyers:

Sahil Taneja

Key clients

Maisarah Islamic Banking Services

Oriental Shrimp Aquaculture LLC

Blue Waters LLC

MB Holding Company LLC

Alizz Islamic

Ahli Bank S.A.O.G.

Bank of Beirut

National Bank of Oman

Duqm Development Company LLC

Qatar National Bank Q.P.S.C

Work highlights

  • Advised on a complex restructuring whereby the National Bank of Oman, and a number of other banks were subject to restructuring financing arrangements availed by Zubair Group and its subsidiaries in Oman.  
  • Appointed by Oriental Shrimp Aquaculture Company LLC to represent them in obtaining a Dimishing Musharaka facility from Sohar Islamic, Islamic windows of Sohar Islamic Bank.
  • Advising Oriental Shrimp Aquacultural Company LLC in obtaining an approximate OMR 8.3 million (Eight Million and Three Hundred Thousand Omani Rial)) under Diminishing Musharakah Facility from Sohar Islamic.

CMS Cameron McKenna LLP

Senior associate Helen Dean is the lead banking practitioner at CMS Cameron McKenna LLP‘s Muscat’s office where she primarily advises borrowers in relation to conventional and Islamic facilities, project finance and general corporate facilities. Key sectors of focus include energy, TMT and utilities.

Practice head(s):

Helen Dean

Key clients

Meethaq Islamic Banking Bank Muscat SAOG

KCA Deutag Drilling Gmbh

Oman Broadband Company SAOC

NMC Healthcare LLC

Oman Tower Company LLC

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

Oman 70 (Holding) LLC

Alawi Enterprises LLC (Zawawi Group)

Bank AL Habib, Bahrain Branch

Omani Hospitality Company SAOC

Burooj Telecommunication Networks SPC

GS Inima (Barka) LLC

Maersk Drilling Netherlands BV

Work highlights

  • Advising Bank Muscat Meethaq Islamic Banking on various amendments to a Sharia-compliant structure used to finance the treatment of produced water for Suez and its local partners in relation to a service contract with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) due to the merger of Suez and Veolia.
  • Advised Oman Tower Company LLC in relation to a bilateral facility with Bank Muscat.
  • Advised Omani Hospitality Company SAOC in relation to the restructuring of its OMR 65 million facility with Bank Muscat, National Bank of Oman and Bank Muscat Meethaq Islamic Banking.

Mohammed Al Ruqaishi Law Firm

Mohammed Al Ruqaishi Law Firmvery capable and experienced’ team is made up of projects and finance specialist, Ali Naveed Arshad and corporate and capital markets partner, Alessandra Zingales , both recruited from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP. Arshad is experienced in acting for procurers, developers and lenders, including Islamic financial institutions on project, asset and acquisition finance transactions. Hashim Shekhuna is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Ali Naveed Arshad; Alessandra Zingales

 

Other key lawyers:

Hashim Shekhuna

Testimonials

‘The team at the firm is very capable and experienced. Two partners have previously worked at international law firms, and hence are used to providing international law firm standard services. They are responsive and cost effective.’

‘Hashim Shekhuna has a good standing in the banking and finance legal community in Oman.’

Key clients

Bank Nizwa SAOG

Oman Broadband Company SAOC

Ahli Bank SAOG

ITHCA group (formerly knows as Oman Information and Communication Technology Group)

Chailease International Financial Services (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Penicillin General Integrated Industrial Co FZL LLC

Ministry of Finance

Ministry of Education

Black Gold Integrated Solutions Co LLC

Oman Sugar Refinery Company LLC

Work highlights

  • Acting for Oman Broadband as counsel on the project development and project finance facilities relating to Phase 2 nationwide telecommunications and fibre optic infrastructure for use by existing licensed telecom providers and Phase 1 conversion from LIBOR to Term SOFR.
  • Advising Bank Nizwa  on a second Islamic finance tranche under a Diminishing Musharakah cum Ijarah structure for the Duqm Development Company LLC, which is part of the Omani government owned Asyad Group).
  • Advising Chailease on a lease financing transaction involving an Airbus helicopter by Al Sharqiyah Aviation SAOC.