Muscat: Many international agencies upgraded the Sultanate of Oman’s credit rating with ‘stable’ outlook due to Oman’s commitment to fiscal performance control procedures and initiatives within the context of the Medium Term Fiscal Plan (MTFP), higher oil prices and improved economic and financial indicators.
While Fitch raised Oman’s credit rating to ‘BB’, Standard & Poors amended the country’s credit rating to ‘BB-’, with a stable outlook and so did Moody’s, from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’.
One of the direct factors that prompted Fitch’s action was the performance of the Sultanate of Oman’s general finance, fiscal control measures undertaken within the context of the Fiscal Balance Plan 2020-2024, an ability to ease external borrowing pressure, sustained efforts to reform general finance, high oil prices’ boosting budgets 2022-2023 and a sharp fall in general debt.
Dr. Said Mubarak Al Mahrami, Member of the State Council and Finance Professor at the Sultan Qaboos University’s College of Economy and Political Sciences, told Oman News Agency (ONA) that the reasons behind Oman Fitch’s ameliorating Oman’s credit rating include the government’s sincere desire to cut down the general debt, Oman’s serious abidance by the Fiscal Balance Plan and high revenues from oil and gas prices. He hoped that Oman’s next credit rating will be an investment-based one.
On his turn, Dr. Mohammed Humaid Al Wardi, an academic and economist, echoed a similar view, noting that Oman’s credit rating’s upgrade came as a result of the government’s commitment to the Fiscal Balance Plan (aimed to achieve financial sustainability), Omani economy’s ability to rebound, realise good performance in accelerating the execution of development projects, enhance factors that furnish an attractive investment environment and reassure investors, the country’s ability to stay firm on the general debt rectification course and shrink external borrowing.