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CBO Announces 54th GDB Issue   (21/08/2017)


news

The Central Bank of Oman has announced a new Government Development Bonds (GDB) issue worth OMR 150 million with a maturity period of ten years. The current issue (54th) will carry a coupon rate of 5.75 per cent per annum.

The 54th Issue will be open for subscription between 10th September 2017 and 14th September 2017 for all investors irrespective of their nationalities. The auction will be held on Sunday, 17th September 2017, while the issue settlement date will be Wednesday 20th September 2017.

A media release from CBO's Monetary Operations Department (MOD) said that interest on the new bonds will be paid semiannually on 20th March and 20th September every year until the maturity date which is 20th September 2027.

To apply for these bonds, the investors are required to submit their bids through the licensed banks operating in the Sultanate, only through the competitive bidding process.

However, investors with applications of OMR1 million and above can choose to submit their bids directly to CBO after getting them endorsed from their respective.

The release further informed that the bonds which are direct and unconditional obligations of the Government of Oman can be used as a collateral security to obtain loans from any local licensed bank. They can also be traded at prevailing market rates through the Muscat Securities Market (MSM).

For further details, prospective investors can contact CBO (Monetary Operations Department) at (24777426/428/635) or any of the commercial licensed banks in the Sultanate.

 Press Release (English)

 Press Release (Arabic)

  Prospectus (English)

  Prospectus(Arabic)

 Application Form (English)

 Application Form (Arabic)

CBO Releases Monthly Statistical Bulletin June 2017   (20/08/2017)

CBO which released its June 2017 Monthly Bulletin has reported that the Sultanate continued to witness sluggish economic activities in view of the persistent low oil prices.

According to the Monthly Bulletin the nominal GDP declined by 5.1 percent during 2016 compared to previous year (2015), mainly on account of sharp fall in the hydrocarbon sector which declined by 23.7 percent. The non-hydrocarbon sector witnessed a marginal growth of 0.6 percent during 2016.

Quoting the preliminary national accounts data for Oman, the CBO monthly bulletin further indicated that while manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade were adversely affected, value addition showed positive growth mainly in construction, agriculture and fishing as well as in real estate services.

Despite the overall slowdown in the economy, the banking sector in Oman continued to witness reasonable growth in both credit and deposits. Total deposits registered a growth of 6.6 percent to RO 21.4 billion, with private sector deposits growing by 5.0 percent to RO 13.6 billion as at the end of June 2017. Similarly, total deposits held with Islamic banks and windows also registered a significant increase to RO 2.7 billion in June 2017 as compared to RO 1.8 billion during the corresponding period in 2016.

For further details and to access the full report, please read the June 2017 Monthly Bulletin available under Publications Section of the website.

High Sharia Supervisory Authority Holds Second Meeting of the Year   (07/08/2017)

The High Sharia Supervisory Authority held its second meeting of the year on Monday 7th August 2017 at the premises of Central Bank of Oman. The meeting was chaired by Sheikh Dr. Kahlan Bin Nabhan Al Kharoosi and was attended by all the members.

In the meeting the Authority made detailed deliberations on the issues presented to it, covering various Sharia aspects relating to Islamic banking business in Oman and gave its opinion in light of the discussions.

Arabic Version

CBO Releases Fifth Financial Stability Report   (06/08/2017)


news

The Central Bank of Oman released its fifth issue of the Financial Stability Report (FSR) on Sunday, August 6th, 2017.

The FSR 2017, indicated that improvement in oil prices and better understanding of the new oil price range has allowed better economic planning by the policy makers. While acknowledging the challenges faced by the economy, including nominal contractions in 2015 and 2016, the FSR noted that the financial stability in the Sultanate remained intact.

"Measured reforms, including the pace of economic diversification, have been taken and policies were put in place to increase revenues and reduce expenditures. The Central Bank of Oman continues to maintain a comfortable level of foreign reserves, which is sufficient to back-up the peg," the Report said.

Additionally, the FSR asserted that the Omani banking sector remained well capitalized and profitable with low NPLs ratio. The banks remained fairly liquid without any bout of serious stress, and the credit growth remained healthy and the risks were well-contained. The stress tests also showed low solvency and liquidity risks for the banking sector. In its concluding remarks, the Report noted that despite economic headwinds, on balance, the overall financial stability of the Sultanate remained intact in 2016. Read full text of FSR 2017 here.

CBO Releases Annual Report 2016   (24/07/2017)

The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) which released its Annual Report 2016 recently, provides an overall assessment of Oman's macroeconomic developments during the year 2016 including the analysis of major sectors of the economy categorized under different chapters, namely, Output, Employment and Prices, Oil and Gas, Public Finance, Money Banking and Financial Institutions and Foreign Trade and Balance of Payments.

The Annual Report also carries the audited balance sheet of the CBO as well as important CBO regulations issued during 2016 and the first half of 2017. As per the estimates of the Annual Report, persistent lower oil prices continued to add challenges to macroeconomic performance of Oman in 2016 which resulted in the contraction in nominal terms for the second year in a row in 2016, after a sustained robust expansion over five years (2010-2014), mainly due to steep decline in hydrocarbon activities.

However, the economic activity, as measured by nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP), slackened by 5.1 percent in 2016 as compared to a more pronounced drop of 13.8 percent in the previous year, the Report said. Likewise, the GDP component emanating from the petroleum sector registered a decline of 23.7 percent, while the non-oil sector GDP rose by 0.6 percent.

In the Foreword, H.E. The Executive President of CBO, informed that the authorities have been responding with appropriate policy measures to move ahead on the path of fiscal sustainability in the medium-term.

"Reining in public expenditure, augmenting non-oil revenue, pursuing economic diversification are key facets of the State General Budget, 2017," H.E. said adding that the sharp decline of 27.3 percent in hydrocarbon revenue necessitated consolidation in public expenditure (5.8 percent in 2016 on top of 9.7 percent in 2015) facilitated substantially by reduction in investment expenditure (7.5 percent in 2015 followed by 11.7 percent in 2016) as well as implementing subsidy reforms.

Commenting on the economic outlook for Oman, the Annual Report indicated that the hydrocarbon sector is expected to further slowdown in 2017, despite some recovery in oil prices, due to lower production as part of the OPEC and other oil producers' agreement. Although oil prices are expected to further recover somewhat, Oman oil price would remain much lower than the external breakeven level. As per IMF's projection, oil prices are expected to average at about US$ 55 per barrel during 2017-18 compared to an average of US$ 43 a barrel in 2016. At the same time, planned fiscal consolidation is expected to slow down the growth of the non-hydrocarbon sector. Overall, the slowdown in the Omani economy is expected to continue during 2017.

"Nonetheless, the progress on macroeconomic reforms, such as introduction of excise and value added tax (VAT), approval for legislations on labour and foreign direct investment (FDI) would be paramount for shaping the medium-term outlook of the Omani economy, especially in the backdrop of expectations about low hydrocarbon prices," the Report added.

   Read full Annual Report here.

Mobile Payment Clearing & Switching System "MpClear" Go-Live   (24/07/2017)


news

The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) in its endeavor to continuously enhance the payment infrastructure in the country, is pleased to announce the GO-LIVE of a unique payment system, the mobile payment clearing and switching system on 23rd July 2017, (Renaissance day), thereby attaining one more milestone in providing a safe and secure fund transfer mechanism through the medium of mobile by just using a mobile number to complete the payment transfer instantly. This is expected to provide ease of use, convenience and further promote electronic payments in the Sultanate of Oman. After the launch of this system, Oman is the first country within the GCC countries to implement such system under the Central Bank sponsorship.    Read More

   Arabic

All Commercial Banks to Sustain from Withholding ID Cards Pertaining to Visitors   (20/06/2017)

The Central Bank of Oman is instructing all commercial banks operating in the Sultanate to sustain from withholding ID cards pertaining to visitors, in adherence to Article (44) of the Civil Status Law issued under the Royal Decree No. (66/99) "Where ID cards shall be carried at all times and presented to public authorities only." Banks should find other means to achieve the withholding ID cards. According to the Royal Oman Police, this is an illegal act and contradicts the core objectives of carrying the ID card at all times.

English

All Banks to Be Closed for Eid Al-Fitr Holiday   (19/06/2017)

On the blessed occasion of Eid Al-Fitr for the Hijri Year 1438, all the Banks operating in the Sultanate shall remain closed on Saturday, 24th June 2017 (29th Ramadhan 1438 H) to Thursday 29th June 2017.

A circular from H.E. The Executive President's office advised that the banks shall reopen for their routine business, Sunday, 2nd July 2017.

On this occasion, H.E. The Executive President extended his best wishes to the banking sector.

BM 1151: National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC Renamed as First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC   (14/06/2017)

In view of the legal merger of First Gulf Bank PJSC and National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, the combined entity shall henceforth be known as First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC.

In the BM Circular 1151, issued on Wednesday, June 15th 2017, and addressed to all licensed banks in the Sultanate, H.E. The Executive President of CBO informed: "Central Bank of Oman has been advised that further to the legal merger of First Gulf Bank PJSC and National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC at the close of trading in the UAE on 30 March 2017, the combined bank has received all the relevant shareholder and UAE regulatory approvals to change its name from National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC to First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC ("FAB")."

The BM Circular also advised that change in Commercial Registration of Oman has been effected on 10 May 2017. However, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Oman has requested that it needs some time to effect changes in cheque book, stationary and certain re-branding requirements.

Accordingly, H.E. The Executive President of CBO has requested all licensed banks to extend their cooperation in the process.

Ramadan Working Hours: All Banks to Work From 9:00 am to 1:00 pm   (16/05/2017)

CBO has announced the working hours for all the licensed banks in the Sultanate for the holy month of Ramadan (1438 H) 2017. In a circular issued on Tuesday, May 16th 2017, H.E. Executive President of CBO declared that all the licensed banks in the Sultanate will work from 9:00 am in the morning until 1:00 pm in the afternoon.

The circular also provided detailed timings for all the services rendered by CBO, besides indicating that normal working hours will resume on the first working day after Eid Al Fitr. For further details on timings for CBO services such as RTGS, ECC, ACH transactions, Cash withdrawals and Deposits etc., please read the Circular .

CBO Announces 53rd GDB Auction Results   (10/05/2017)

The Central Bank of Oman announced results of its 53rd Government Development Bond (GDB) Issue here at its premises on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. In line with the previous over-subscription track record, the current 53rd Issue also received overwhelming response from the investors. The auction was held on Tuesday, May 9th 2017.

The 53rd GDB Issue received applications in excess of over RO 175.54 million at RO 325.54 million, as against the Issue value of RO 150 million.

According to the Central Bank release the average yield equivalent percent to the accepted price was 5.07 percent at price of RO 100.920, while the highest yield equivalent was at 5.20percent for RO 100.255 and the lowest was at 4.92 percent for RO 101.695.

The 6-year Bond will be issued on 15th May 2017, while it will mature on 15th May 2023 carrying a coupon rate of 5.25 % p.a. The issue was open for subscription between 2nd May and 8th May 2017.

CBO Issues Revised Guidelines on SME Financing   (26/04/2017)

Central bank of Oman has issued revised guidelines on SME financing by all licensed banks in the Sultanate.

In the BM Circular 1150, issued on Wednesday, 26th April 2017, the Central Bank has allowed banks to reckon non-funded credit also as part of SME financing for the 5% target set (vide earlier Circular BM 1108). At the same time, to avoid possible lack of focus, on funded credit, it has been decided to allow banks to reckon non-funded credit only up to a maximum of 1 % of total credit for the purpose of monthly reporting in respect of 5% target set.

Accordingly, banks are requested to submit the Monthly Return - effective for the period starting with June 2017, as per the revised format provided by CBO.

CBO has also advised banks to note that non-fund based credit can be no substitute for banks' direct involvement and contributions required/desired.

It also directed banks to maintain diligence in classification and record keeping of SME credit appropriately with no scope for dilution or mix up with personal, other non-SME business loans and the like.

CBO requested all licensed banks to be fully committed to efforts on much needed SME development - noting that inclusion, as above, of non-fund based credit may be reviewed from time to time and withdrawn if deemed warranted.

For full content of the Circular, the revised format of the Monthly Return and the unchanged Quarterly Return format as per Annexure II of Circular BM 1108 please visit the below links:

 BM 1150

 Monthly Return format

 Quarterly Return format

CBO Announces 53rd GDB Issue   (24/04/2017)


news

Central Bank of Oman has announced a new issue of Government Development Bonds (GDB) worth RO 150 million on Monday, April 24th 2017. The 53rd Issue of GDB has a maturity period of 6 years and carries a coupon rate of 5.25 per cent.

A media release from CBO said that the new issue will be open for all investors to subscribe between 2nd May and 8th 2017. The auction will be held on Tuesday, 9th May 2017, while the issue settlement date will be Monday 15th May, 2017.

Interest on the new bonds will be paid semiannually on 15th November and 15th May every year until the maturity date which is 15th May 2023. The 53rd GDB issue is open to all investors, residents and non-residents (irrespective of their nationality).

To apply for these bonds, the investors are required to submit their bids through the licensed banks operating in the Sultanate, only through the competitive bidding process.

However, investors with applications of OMR1 million and above can directly submit their bids to CBO after getting them endorsed from their respective banks, the CBO statement advised.

The release further informed that the bonds which are direct and unconditional obligations of the Government of Oman can be used as a collateral security to obtain loans from any local licensed bank. They can also be traded at prevailing market rates through the Muscat Securities Market (MSM).

The details of the bonds allotted will be recorded in the register maintained by the Muscat Clearing & Depositary Company. Prospectus and application forms can be obtained from any licensed bank operating in the Sultanate.

 Press Release (English)

 Press Release (Arabic)

  Prospectus (English)

  Prospectus(Arabic)

 Application Form (English)

 Application Form (Arabic)

All Banks to Be Closed for Isra & Meraj Holiday   (19/04/2017)

On the blessed occasion of Isra & Meraj for the Hijri Year 1438, all the Banks operating in the Sultanate shall remain closed on Tuesday, 25th April 2017 (27th Rajab 1438 H).

A circular from H.E. The Executive President's office advised that the banks shall reopen for their routine business, Wednesday, 26th April 2017 (28th Rajab 1438 H).

On this holy occasion, H.E. The Executive President expressed his best wishes to the banking sector.

IFRS 9 Implementation: CBO Issues Detailed Guidelines   (13/04/2017)

Central Bank of Oman has issued elaborate and detailed guidelines on the implementation of IFRS 9 on financial instruments, directing banks and FLCs to ensure its high quality implementation that results in reliable measurement of capital and augments market discipline through greater transparency.

In the BM Circular 1149, issued on 13th April 2017, and addressed to all licensed banks and FLCs operating in the Sultanate, H.E The Executive President of CBO noted that while the responsibility of preparing and ensuring fair presentation of the financial statements of a bank/FLC vests primarily with its Board, the Central Bank of Oman is interested in a high quality implementation of IFRS 9 that results in reliable measurement of capital and augments market discipline through greater transparency.

 Read more

CBO Releases Mid-Year Review of Omani Economy for 2016   (13/04/2017)

Central Bank of Oman has come out with its Mid-Year Review of the Omani Economy for 2016 covering recent macroeconomic developments in the Sultanate. The latest release indicated that with oil prices continuing to remain relatively low in 2016, economic activity in the Sultanate is projected to be subdued despite sustained expansion in hydrocarbon output.

The Review further indicated that the inflation in the Sultanate registered a modest rise in January-September 2016 due to revision in energy prices, user fees and turnaround in global commodity prices.
 Read more

 Arabic Version

CBO Holds Meeting on Assessment of Vulnerabilities in Omani Macro-Financial System   (04/04/2017)

CBO's Financial Stability Department (FSD) held a meeting on Assessment of Vulnerabilities in the Omani Macro-Financial System with External Stakeholders on Monday, 3rd April 2017.

The meeting which was held at the CBO premises in Ruwi, was intended to receive the feedback of market participants on issues of potential distress brewing in the Omani economy, in addition to sharing information on developments in the area of financial stability with the participants.

During the meeting special emphasis was made on the probable economic fallout due to the current economic developments in the wake of sharp decline in oil prices and its implications on the financial system.
 Read more

Commemorative RO 1 Wins Special Achievement Award at Azerbaijan Currency Printing Conference   (29/03/2017)


news

The commemorative One Omani Rial (RO 1) banknote issued by the Central Bank of Oman to celebrate Sultanate's 45th National Day has won the Special Achievement Award at the Security Currency Printing Conference held on March 28th 2017 in Baku the capital city of Azerbaijan.

The One Rial banknote, characterized by a number of security features was issued for circulation in November 2015 to mark country's 45th National day. The obverse side of the banknote is adorned with the photograph of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, God Almighty protect him. The banknote bears the emblem of the 45th Anniversary of the Glorious National Day and contains many prominent features including the raised tactile marks on the banknote which can be felt from both sides of the note. This tactile feature helps the blind or the visually impaired to recognize the denomination of the currency. Other features include a security thread in two metallic colors (copper and aluminum) with metalized images of the Omani Khanjar and 'ONE RIAL" and number "1" written in both Arabic and English. In addition, the banknote depicts a watermark/electrotype Portrait of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the numeral "1" which clearly appears as the note is viewed against the light. An Optically Variable Ink - a color shift between green and golden-brown is revealed when the note is tilted towards the light.
 Read more

 Arabic Version

CBO and Central Bank of Iran Sign MoU   (26/03/2017)


news

Pursuant to the distinguished relations between the Sultanate of Oman and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Central Bank of Oman recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Bank of Iran.

The MoU aims at strengthening the distinguished bilateral relations and enhancing mutual cooperation between the two countries. It also aims at supporting and developing banking, financial and economic operations for both the Sultanate of Oman and the Islamic Republic of Iran. In addition, the MoU also calls for mutual exchange of knowledge and expertise relating to the banking sector and cooperation between the two countries in promoting bilateral and international trade.

The MoU also made reference to both parties' efforts to exchange visits among high officials, implement secondment programs for employees, and enhance training in this regard from the relevant institutions, such as the College of Banking and Financial Studies in the Sultanate of Oman.

Press Release (English)

Press Release(Arabic)

CBO Holds First Board Meeting of the Year   (20/03/2017)

The Central Bank of Oman's Board of Governors held their first meeting of this year on Monday, March 20th 2017. The meeting which was chaired by H.E. Dr. Ali bin Mohammed bin Moosa, Deputy Chairman of CBO's Board of Governors, reviewed various issues on its agenda, including the review of the Economic and Financial report up to 31st December 2016, as well as the activity report of CBO's Departments. In the meeting, the Board approved to increase CBO's Capital from RO 760 Million to RO One Billion effective from 1st April 2017.

The actions taken by the Central Bank of Oman and licensed banks operating in Oman with regard to the financing of Small and Medium enterprises also came up for Board scrutiny.

Besides, the Board also reviewed the CBO's financial position as of February 2017 and the performance of CBO's external investments during the period under review.

In addition, the Board endorsed the audited accounts of Central Bank of Oman, Deposit Insurance Fund and Pension Scheme of Central Bank of Oman as at 31st December 2016. The Board also reviewed the Management letter report of external auditors and annual report of the CBO Internal Audit Committee.

The Board also discussed the financial and administrative matters of CBO and has taken necessary decisions in this regard.

Press Release (English)

Press Release(Arabic)

CBO's 52nd GDB Issue Evokes Overwhelming Response   (15/02/2017)

The Central Bank of Oman's 52nd issue of Government Development Bonds worth RO 150 million received massive response from investors.

Applications to the 52nd GDB received were in excess of over RO 109.67 million at RO 259.67 million, as against the Issue value of RO 150 million.

The amount received in excess of the stipulated issue was paid back to the concerned parties and only a total of RO 150 million were allotted in government bonds.

The average yield equivalent percent to the accepted price in the 52nd Issue was 5.08 percent at price of RO 99.535. While the highest yield equivalent was at 5.20 percent for RO 98.840, the lowest was at 4.90 percent at a price of RO 100.585.

The 7-year Bond will be issued on 20th February 2017, while it will mature on 20th February 2024, carrying a coupon rate of 5 % p.a.

CBO Releases Five New Commemorative Coins   (07/02/2017)


news

Central Bank of Oman has announced the release of five new silver commemorative coins to commemorate five Omani National Craft Industries.

Making the announcement in a BM Circular No. 1148, on Tuesday, February 07, 2017, H.E. The Executive President of CBO said: "The Central Bank of Oman is pleased to issue a set of coloured silver commemorative coins to commemorate five Omani Craft Industries."

H.E. further informed that each coin depicted one of the five Omani crafts industries, namely, Weaving Industries, Pottery Industries, Palm Leaves Industries, Metal Industries and Wooden Industries,.

Describing the distinctive features of the coins in a separate notice, CBO said that the obverse side of the coins include a Coat of Arms, the name of the country (Sultanate of Oman), the name of Central Bank of Oman, and face value in Arabic and English. The reverse side of the coins depict coloured images of five of the Omani Craft Industries, with each coin depicting one of the five industries as mentioned earlier.

Each of these coins weigh 28.28 grams and are available for purchase from CBO at an indicative selling price of RO 15. The set of 5 coins can be purchased at a discounted price of RO 69. However, prices of these coins are subject to change in accordance with the variations in the prices of silver in the International Market.

These commemorative coins are legal tender for their face value (RO 1) and will be accepted by all banks when presented by the public.

Press Release (English)

Press Release(Arabic)

CBO Announces 52nd GDB Issue Worth RO 150 Million   (24/1/2017)


news

The Central Bank of Oman has announced a new Government Development Bonds (GDB) issue worth OMR 150 million with a maturity period of seven years. The current issue will carry a coupon rate of 5 per cent per annum.

According to a media release from CBO the issue will be open for subscription between 05th February and 12th February, 2017, while the auction will be held on Tuesday, 14th February 2017. The issue settlement date will be Monday 20th February, 2017.

Interest on the new bonds will be paid semiannually on 20th August and 20th February, every year until maturity date on 20th February 2024.

In line with the previous issues, the current 52nd GDB issue is open to all investors, residents and non-residents (irrespective of their nationality).

The investors are required to apply for these bonds only through the competitive bidding process and they should submit their bids through the licensed banks operating in the Sultanate.

However, investors with applications of OMR1 million and above can directly submit their bids to CBO after getting them endorsed from their respective banks, the CBO statement advised.

The release further informed that the bonds which are direct and unconditional obligations of the Government of Oman can be used as a collateral security to obtain loans from any local licensed bank. They can also be traded at prevailing market rates through the Muscat Securities Market (MSM).

The details of the bonds allotted will be recorded in the register maintained by the Muscat Clearing & Depositary Company. Prospectus and application forms can be obtained from any licensed bank operating in the Sultanate.

Prospective investors can contact the CBO's Monetary Operations Department on phone numbers - (24777426/431/425/635).

For further details and prospectus, Kindly Check below links:

Press Release (Englsih)

Press Release (Arabic)

Prospectus (English)

Prospectus(Arabic)

Application Form (English)

Application Form (Arabic)

News Archive


The Central Bank of Oman is responsible for maintaining the internal and external value of the national currency. It is also the single integrated regulator of Oman's financial services industry.

It is committed to excellence in providing monetary and financial stability and fostering sound and progressive financial sector to achieve sustained economic growth for the benefit of the nation.

Highlights

* Daily Foreign Exchange Rates

* Treasury Bills Tender Result

* Financial Stability Report 2016

Islamic Banking Regulatory Framework

Islamic Banking Regulatory Framework (Arabic)

Monthly Statistical Bulletin June 2017

In respect of domestic interest rate structure of conventional banks, the weighted average interest rate on RO deposits increased to 1.621 percent in June 2017 from 1.182 percent a year ago, while the weighted average RO lending rate increased to 5.123 percent from 4.854 percent during the same period. The overnight Rial Omani domestic inter-bank lending rate stood at 0.978 percent in June 2017, much higher as compared to 0.412 percent a year ago. The average Repos rate for liquidity injection by the CBO stood at 1.638 percent per annum during the month of June 2017.

Withholding ID Cards Pertaining to Visitors of Commercial Banks   (20/06/2017)
(English Version)



Towards a Growing, Competitive and dynamic Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Sector in Oman:

Strategy and Policies - See more.

The Economic Research and Statistics Department of the Central Bank of Oman has issued an Occasional Paper analyzing the state of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Oman. The study used survey questionnaires targeting a large and representative sample of SMEs in Oman as well as a number of commercial banks to assess the challenges and opportunities in this sector. Moreover, interviews were conducted with concerned officials from major companies in Oman, also aimed to assess challenges and potentials for SMEs in the Sultanate. In the foreword that accompanies the study, H.E. the Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman states that growing and dynamic SMEs are critical for any economy to sustain its development, more so given the flexibility of these enterprises to adapt to changing economic dynamic besides other economic rationales.

Subsequent to the analysis of the data and interviews, the following selected findings are of interest. Over 75 percent of SMEs owners and small businesses entrepreneurs in Oman are above thirty-year old, 70 percent of those surveyed never received any training related to SMEs operation or management, 58 percent of SMEs employ between 1 and 4 nationals and only 2 percent employ more than 20 nationals, the largest sources of businesses were identified as standing contracts as well as binding legal agreements with customers, and 56 percent of owners cite personal or family funds as sources of financing while 18 percent borrow from banks and other commercial institutions.

As regards findings on surveys targeting commercial banks and using multiple responses and rankings, 86 percent of commercial banks prefer to lend to individually-owned SMEs, followed by non-family partnership with 71 percent, and family owned SMEs with 57 percent. Established SMEs were the most preferred as recipient of financing by the banks with 86 percent compared to start-ups with 43 percent. Lack of financial history or financial statements was the leading obstacle to financing SMEs, followed by limited lack of business knowledge by the prospective borrowers while lack of collateral and the inherent high failure of SME firms came third in the ranking.

The study issued a comprehensive strategy and policy recommendations designed to promote a growing, competitive and dynamic SMEs sector in Oman. The strategy proposed in the study incorporated selected best practices garnered from experiences of other countries and subsequently aligned them within the context and specifics of the Omani economy and institutions. The strategy, whose goal is to promote a growing, competitive and dynamic SME sector in Oman consists of four intertwined support networks that are in turn reinforced by specific modules, all of which are discussed in the study.

A list of policy recommendations was then drawn from the proposed strategy detailing the substance of various instruments ranging from key policies and institutions, to a governing legal basis, facilitating access to financing, identification and access to opportunities, and the required infrastructure. Selected policy recommendations include a legal framework that at its core, promotes growth-driven regulations, fair competition, effective agency regulations and make sure all regulations and rules are based on reliable researches and studies. Explore other sources of financing such as collateral surrogates, capacity enhancing on SMEs lending by lending institutions, provide support on viable projects by entrepreneurs, and enhance access to government contracts. Other suggested policies include the promotion of effective and efficient business incubators, integrated business clusters in carefully studied and identified competitive sectors, professionally statistical body dedicated to SMEs, and public-private sector partnership.

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Indicators
(Rial Omani Million)

Central Bank of Oman May 2017
Total Assets / Liabilities 7498.8
Foreign Assets & Bullion 6585.2
Currency Issued 1677.0
more
Commercial Bank May 2017
Total Assets / Liabilities 27319.8
Foreign Assets 2715.0
Foreign Liabilities 2709.7
Total Credit 19826.0
Total Deposits 18929.9
  
Monetary Indicators 1 May 2017
Narrow Money Supply (M1) 5230.2
Broad Money Supply (M2) 16122.0
more
Weighted Average Rates of Interest (%) May 2017
Rial Omani Overnight Domestic inter-bank rate 0.616
Rial Omani Total Deposits 1.611
Private Sector RO Time Deposits 3.607
Rial Omani Total Lending 5.132
Private Sector RO Lending 5.267

1 Includes Conventional Banks and Islamic Banks and Windows.
* Provisional

Monthly Statistical Bulletin May 2017

Average annual inflation based on CPI for the Sultanate during January- May 2017 stood at 2.2 percent mainly due to revision in energy prices, transport costs, education and other user fees. The sharp drop in fiscal revenue outstripped the reduction in fiscal expenditure leading to the widening of the fiscal deficit during 2016, which was funded mostly by external borrowings.

Annual Report 2016

The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) released today its Annual Report for 2016. The Report contains the overall macroeconomic assessment of Oman and analysis of the major sectors of the economy during 2016 along with an assessment of the outlook for the economy in the near-term.

Monthly Statistical Bulletin April 2017

The sharp drop in fiscal revenue outstripping the reduction in fiscal expenditure during 2016 led to the widening of the fiscal deficit. The funding gap has been met mostly by external borrowings by the Sovereign. With the current account in the balance of payments also facing pressure, the CBO ensured that the gross foreign exchange reserves in its balance sheet remained healthy.

BM 1151 - Change of Name of National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC to First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC   (14/06/2017)

BM 1150 - Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)   (26/04/2017)

BM 1149 - Implementation of International Financial Reporting Standard 9 on Financial Instruments   (13/04/2017)

Government Development Bonds Auction Results – Issue 53   (10/05/2017)

Government Development Bonds Auction Results Issue 52   (15/02/2017)

BM 1148 - Issue of 5 Silver Commemorative Coins commemorating the Omani National Crafts   (07/02/2017)

Mid-Year Review of the Omani Economy 2016 (English)

Mid-Year Review of the Omani Economy 2016 (Arabic)

Quarterly Statistical Bulletin March 2017

With oil prices continuing to remain low, economic activity in the Sultanate remained subdued. Preliminary national accounts data for Oman indicate that the nominal GDP declined by 5.1 percent during 2016 compared to last year. The decline was reflected in the petroleum sector with a fall of 23.7 percent and in a marginal increase of 0.6 percent in the non-petroleum sector.

Monthly Statistical Bulletin March 2017

Review of the activities of conventional banks denotes an annual growth in total outstanding credit of 3.5 percent as at the end of March 2017. Credit to the private sector increased by 6.3 percent to reach RO 17.8 billion as at the end of March 2017. Conventional banks' overall investments in securities stood at RO 3.1 billion as at the end of March 2017.

Monthly Statistical Bulletin February 2017

With regard to monetary aggregates as at the end of February 2017, narrow money stock (M1) when measured on year-on-year basis, registered a drop of 3.8 percent to RO 5.0 billion. However, quasi-money (Rial Omani saving and time deposits, certificates of deposit issued by banks, margin deposits and foreign currency denominated deposits) witnessed an appreciable growth of 8 percent during the period.

Monthly Statistical Bulletin January 2017

Islamic banking entities provided financing to the extent of RO 2.5 billion as at the end of January 2017 when compared to RO 1.8 billion a year ago. Total deposits held with Islamic banks and windows also registered a significant increase to RO 2.2 billion in January 2017 from RO 1.5 billion outstanding as at the end of January 2016.

Quarterly Statistical Bulletin December 2016

Low level of oil prices during the past couple of years brought to the fore several challenges to the Omani economy which impacted overall economic activity. Preliminary national accounts data for Oman indicate that the nominal GDP declined by 9 percent during the first nine months of 2016 compared to to the same period last year.

Monthly Statistical Bulletin December 2016

The banking sector remained resilient supporting the economic diversification initiatives and credit needs. The combined balance sheet of conventional and Islamic banks (other depository corporations) taken together, provides a complete overview of the financial intermediation taking place in the banking system in Oman.


Monthly Statistical Bulletin November 2016

The Monthly Bulletin for November 2016 shows that the overnight Rial Omani domestic inter-bank lending rate has increased to 0.475 percent in November 2016 from 0.153 percent a year ago. The average Repos rate for liquidity injection by the CBO stood at 1.048 percent per annum during the month of November 2016.

Monthly Statistical Bulletin October 2016

Review of the activities of conventional banks denotes a fairly robust annual growth in total outstanding credit of 7.1 percent as at the end of October 2016. Credit to the private sector increased by 9.6 percent to reach RO 17.6 billion as at the end of October 2016.

Quarterly Statistical Bulletin September 2016

The Omani economy which has been experiencing challenges of low oil prices, has been undertaking policy measures to expedite economic diversification and to augment non-oil revenues. Preliminary national accounts data for Oman shows that the nominal GDP declined by 11.1 percent during the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

Al Markazi - October 2016 (English)

Al Markazi - October 2016 (Arabic)

Monthly Statistical Bulletin September 2016

The CBO is assuring enough liquidity in the market and keeping inflation levels low at 0.93 percent during the period January-September 2016.

Monthly Statistical Bulletin August 2016

The combined balance sheet of conventional and Islamic banks (other depository corporations) taken together, provides a complete overview of the financial intermediation taking place in the banking system in Oman.

Monthly Statistical Bulletin July 2016

On the fiscal front, the Government of Oman introduced several positive reform measures supported by external borrowings in addition to other sources of funding to tackle the fiscal deficits. With oil prices continuing to remain low, the current account which registered a deficit in 2015 is expected to be in deficit mode in 2016 too.

Quarterly Statistical Bulletin June 2016

With inflation based on the average annual CPI remaining low at 0.74 percent during the first half of 2016, the CBO continued with its accommodative monetary policy stance and made revisions to the reserve requirement leaving more money in the hands of banks to facilitate lending requirements.

Monthly Statistical Bulletin June 2016

Despite the challenges facing the economy, the banking sector remained resilient supporting economic diversification initiatives and credit needs. The total assets of conventional commercial banks increased by 6.1 percent to RO 29.1 billion in June 2016 from RO 27.4 billion a year ago.