Muscat: Oman Development Bank (ODB) has achieved a 4 per cent growth in the number of loans during the first six months of 2017 at 2,949, against 2,835 loans for the same period of last year.
The total loan amount during the January-June period of 2017 was OMR29.73 million, compared with OMR26.42 million for the same period in 2016, showing a growth of 14 per cent.
The steady growth rate in loan sanctions and amount proves the approach of ODB in supporting different sectors in the Sultanate, which helps the national economy and the country’s development, ODB said in a press release. The bank adheres to the general strategy of the state and successive five-year plans.
The bank also plays a major role in supporting small and medium enterprises in the Sultanate by providing interest-free loans for promoting professional and craftsmanship that aim to provide job opportunities to the citizens. The bank is also committed to the government’s approach that seeks to fund development projects all over the Sultanate.
Al Sharqiyah South topped all governorates in terms of beneficiaries, as the number of loans was pegged at 529 during the first half of 2017, and showed an increase of 64 additional loans, compared with the same period of 2016.
A total of 465 projects were funded and a total of OMR3.34 million was released during the first half of 2017, compared with OMR2.99 million for the same period of 2016.
The growth in number of loans and amount allotted is because of the promising economic features that the province has in the sectors of fishing, craftsmanship, tourism, and agricultural and animal development.
Al Batinah North came second among the beneficiary governorates, based on the number of funded loans, which reached 525 in the first half of 2017, up from 427 loans during the same period last year. With an increase of 98 loans, Al Batinah North accounted for 18 per cent of the total loans that the bank funded in the first half of this year, which amounted to OMR3.47 million. The governorate has industries, especially, in petrochemicals, aluminium and other industries. It also has agricultural, commercial and tourism attributes that make it an international destination.
Al Batinah South governorate was ranked third according to the number of funded loans which reached 414, and the total funds allotted reached OMR4.39 million. The governorate witnessed a massive change in the number of loans, compared with the first half of 2016, which saw only 266 loans being funded, and about OMR1.72 million disbursed.
Promising economic, tourism, commercial and logistic activities in accordance with government guidelines for economic diversification has enabled this increase in the number and amount of loans disbursed.
In the Governorate of Muscat, the number of loans reached 297, with 10 per cent of the loans being ODB funded during the period and the amount reached about OMR9.41 million. This shows a good growth, compared to the same period in 2016 when the amount of loans was pegged at about OMR7.31 million.
Musandam, a sought after tourist destination, comes after Muscat on the beneficiary list of loans, with a 9 per cent of the total number of loans funded during the first half of 2017. A total of 279 loans amounting to about OMR1.13 million were disbursed.
Dhofar governorate received 225 loans worth about OMR1.47 million, followed by Al Buraimi with 171 loans worth about OMR1.66 million.