Richard Melson

December 2005

Bank Muscat

http://www.bankmuscat.com

Neena nina@hillandknowlton.com.bh

BankMuscat (SAOG) is the largest banking entity in Oman with a strong presence in Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, Investment Banking, Treasury, Private Banking and Asset Management. The Bank has a network of 90 branches in Oman and a representative office in Dubai (UAE). The Bank has strategic stake in Centurion Bank, a new private sector bank in India and has recently set up BankMuscat International B.S.C.(c) (BMI), an independent banking entity in Bahrain. BMI is a registered trademark of BankMuscat (SAOG) and is regulated by the Bahrain Monetary Agency.

For Immediate Release

BankMuscat, Oman Oil Marketing Company, Oman Mobile and Lulu Hypermarkets join hands to bring customers Smart Card enabled rewards programme

Muscat, 8 December 2005: BankMuscat, Oman Oil Marketing Company, Oman Mobile and Lulu Hypermarkets have joined hands to launch the first Multi-Partner smart card enabled rewards programme for customers in the Sultanate. Positioned as a product that helps shoppers ‘save as they spend ’, the basmaRewards programme, will help shoppers ‘add more smiles to their day’, with a world of benefits and privileges coming their way from the four partner organizations.

Speaking about the partnership, AbdulRazak Ali Issa, chief executive of BankMuscat (SAOG) said:

"We are extremely happy to be part of this pioneering initiative that has four of the largest and most prominent companies in the Sultanate joining hands to provide greater value to customers. BankMuscat is committed to enhancing customer delight in each and every possible way. The basmaRewards programme, we believe, has the potential to change the way people shop in the Sultanate."

Additional partners and merchants will join the basmaProgramme in early 2006 including car sales & service companies, jewellery stores, fashion outlets, electronic showrooms, restaurants, travel agents and hotels. The basma programme will allow cardholders to accumulate basmaPoints against every Rial Omani spent at any of the merchant outlets. Furthermore, if a cardholder is a BankMuscat credit card holder, he or she can earn additional points by paying with their BankMuscat credit cards.

Speaking on the occasion, Mike Wilson, managing director of Oman Oil Marketing Company said:

"It has always been our endeavour to provide value-added services to customers in the Sultanate. What better way than to provide them with a means to save even as they spend, We are sure that the basmaRewards programme will go down well with motorists and shoppers in the Sultanate and help add more smiles to their day."

Unlike many other programmes, basmaPoints can be used as a mode of payment with each point being equal to 1 baiza. Instant redemption will be possible as basmaCards will use the latest smart-chip technology allowing cardholders to make full or part payments for purchases of their choice at all omanoil Filling Stations, Lulu Hypermarkets and Department stores and selected Oman Mobile outlets across the country.

Affirming their commitment in the programme, Dr. Amer Awadh Al Rawas, Managing Director, Oman Mobile said:

"The world today is moving rapidly toward finding methods that promote customer loyalty in exchange of value. Reward programmes, like basma, have shown phenomenal results across product categories in this regard. Oman Mobile endorses offers that our valued customers will enjoy and make part of their lives. The basmaRewards programme, with the high degree of flexibility that it offers, and the promise of more benefits to come, will definitely help enhance our commitment to remain the favorite mobile telecommunication operator in the Sultanate. "

The basmaCard also doubles as a pre-paid fuel card allowing customers to both budget for their fuel spend whilst saving basmaPoints at the same time. The basmaCards have a secure Personal Identification Number (PIN) to prevent unauthorized use in case the basmaCard is lost or stolen.

Confirming their participation in this exciting venture and how they feel it will impact customers in the Sultanate, Ananth A.V., Regional Director, Lulu Hypermarkets said:

"Lulu Hypermarkets has become the first choice of customers in Oman. We believe that the customers should be given even more reason to come back and shop at Lulu. The basmaRewards programme, will go a long way in providing them with another reason to do so."

Initially, the basmaCards will be issued by BankMuscat to privileged credit card holders and by Oman Mobile to a select number of its 1-million customer base in January 2006. The basmaCards will be available at all omanoil Filling Stations for motorists that load RO 20 in the pre-paid facility on the basmaCard.

………Ends………..

Photocaption 1:((R-L) Unveiling

Mike Wilson, Managing Director of Oman Oil Marketing Company

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive of BankMuscat (SAOG)

Ananth A.V., Regional Director, Lulu Hypermarkets

Erik Von Essen, Deputy Managing Director, Oman Mobile

Photocaption 2(R-L) Head Table

Erik Von Essen, Deputy Managing Director, Oman Mobile

Mike Wilson, Managing Director of Oman Oil Marketing Company

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive of BankMuscat (SAOG)

Ananth A.V., Regional Director, Lulu Hypermarkets

About BankMuscat (SAOG):

BankMuscat (SAOG) is the largest banking entity in Oman with assets worth over $4.8 billion and a strong presence in Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, Investment Banking, Treasury, Private Banking and Asset Management. The Bank has a network of 90 branches in Oman and a representative office in Dubai (UAE). BankMuscat also has a strategic stake in Centurion Bank, a private sector bank in India and has recently set up BankMuscat International (BMI) an independent banking entity that is focused on becoming a truly GCC regional bank. BankMuscat holds the rare distinction of being voted the ‘Best Bank in Oman’ four times in a row by The Banker, FT London, five times in a row by Euromoney and five times by Global Finance Inc. Earlier this year, the bank also won the prestigious Gulf Excellence Award for Oman.

Contact:

Shaivakumar Menon, Head – Card Services, Tel: +968 24768704

ShaivaM@bankmuscat.com

Sukanti Ghosh, Head – Corporate Communications, Tel: + 968 99261325

sukantig@bankmuscat.com

About Oman Oil Marketing Company:

Oman Oil Marketing Company (OOMCO) with the brand name 'omanoil', is the only 100% Omani owned fuel marketing company in the Sultanate of Oman. The company has four main areas of operations covering the Retail, Commercial, Aviation and Lubricants markets. The retail business consists of 88 retail Filling Stations and over 20 'Quick Shops' spread throughout the country, selling over 400 million litres of fuel per annum and serving over 3 million shop customers. OOMCO is the distributor for leading BP Visco and Castrol lubricants in Oman.

Contact:

Ali Mustafa Al Lawati, Customer Relationship Manager, Tel: + 968 2456 1801

lawatiam@oomco.com

Hisham Al Alawi, Corporate Affairs Manager, Tel +968 2456 1801

Alalh1@oomco.com

About Oman Mobile:

Oman Mobile is Oman's leading mobile communications service provider with over 1 million customers. Through Hayyak – Oman’s No.1 prepaid service, Taif – the exciting MMS/WAP service and Mada postpaid service, Oman Mobile has made world-class telecom services affordable and accessible to Oman’s people.

Contact:

Rasha Al-Jamali, Market Communications Manager, Tel +968 2447 4921

Rasha.jamali@omanmobile.om

About Lulu Hypermarkets:

Lulu Hypermarkets and department stores are a unique concept in modern shopping envisaged by the EMKE Group based in the UAE. Lulu Hypermarkets have transformed the shopping experience for people of Oman, UAE and Qatar by offering them high quality and value-for-money retailing in a luxurious, ultra-modern shopping ambience. Lulu outlets successfully integrate all conceivable needs of consumers under one roof while offering an eclectic range of international and regional brands and value-added services that enhance the shopping experience.

Contact:

Shabeer K.A., General Manager – Oman, Tel. +968 2450 4054

shabeer@luluoman.co.om

BankMuscat

Neena nina@hillandknowlton.com.bh

Thursday, December 8, 2005