Oman cuts public debt by OMR2.4 billion, thanks to Govt measures

Oman Wednesday 16/November/2022 17:13 PM
Oman cuts public debt by OMR2.4 billion, thanks to Govt measures

Muscat: Oman presses ahead with the approach charted by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to implement economic measures and streamline procedures. This was achieved despite the economic impacts brought about worldwide as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and other global crises.

On top of these measures was the medium-term Fiscal Balance Plan (2020-2023), which proved practical through the results it achieved, supported by the 10th Five Year Plan (2021-2025) in line with Oman Vision 2040.

This approach was emphasised by His Majesty the Sultan who expressed his satisfaction with the positive change in the course of the state’s financial performance and Oman’s ability to meet its financial obligations.

During this year and until the end of August 2022, the Sultanate of Oman was able to pay off loans and replace some high-cost bonds with low-cost ones valued at more than OMR4 billion.

 It also cut down the size of the public debt by about OMR2.4 billion as at the end of August 2022, to stand at OMR18.4 billion, thanks to Government measures taken to support economic recovery.

The ratio of public debt to the GDP decreased to 46.5 percent.

This enabled the government to diminish public debt risks and reduce the cost of public debt interests to be paid in the future by about OMR127 million, besides improving the credit rating and other benefits to consolidate economic growth.

The increase in added value in oil and non-oil activities at the end of the second quarter of 2022 contributed to the growth of the GDP value at current prices by 30.4 percent, touching OMR20.4 billion, compared to OMR15.6 billion at the end of the corresponding quarter in 2021.

His Majesty’s directives during his chairmanship of the Council of Ministers last March—to keep pace with global transformations in the field of green hydrogen and allocate appropriate sites for its production—will enhance foreign investment opportunities, localise this technology and benefit from its multiple uses to produce electrical energy and provide thermal energy for local industries.

To lend support to low-cost clean energy solutions, Ibri Solar Energy Project opened last January 2022 as the first solar power plant to be connected to the main electricity grid with the aim of diversifying sources of renewable energy, maximising the contribution of clean energy projects, boosting the national economy and attracting investments.

His Majesty the Sultan’s directives to add more than OMR650 million to implement additional development projects over projects already endorsed in the10th five-year plan 2021-2025 and his Royal instructions to increase fiscal liquidity for Budget allocations by OMR200 million will contribute to promoting economic growth, completing infrastructure, supporting private sector activities and providing more employment opportunities for Omani citizens.

Fitch agency’s raising Oman’s credit rating and Moody’s amending the country’s future outlook from “stable” to “positive”, while at the same time fixing the rating at Ba3 confirm the Omani government’s commitment to implementing government measures within the framework of the Medium-Term Fiscal Plan to control financial conditions and benefit from the rise in oil prices.

This enhances the confidence of investors in the stability of Oman’s investment climate and the ability of the country to fulfil its obligations. It also affirms the strength of the banking sector.