Muscat: Oman’s commercial banks have achieved a year-on-year growth of 8.8 per cent in total credit at OMR18.44 billion by January-end, over the same period last year.
The incremental credit growth of all banks in absolute terms was OMR1,494.9 million, which is slightly lower than the growth figures last year, according to monthly statistics released by the Central Bank of Oman.
The demand for credit from the corporate sector is mostly for funding projects, which are either state-owned entities like Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) or semi-government firms.
Several state-owned firms are also looking at overseas markets for their long-term funding requirements. The pipeline of credit is still strong, which will continue for another two more quarters since local banks are also actively participating in syndicated loan facilities for project funding.
Total deposits of Omani banks also rose only by 2.2 per cent (OMR384.8 million) by end of January 2016 at OMR17.82 billion. Due to continued slackness in oil prices, bank deposits were affected due to withdrawals from state entities.
Oman has seven conventional banks — Bank Muscat, National Bank of Oman, BankDhofar, HSBC Bank Oman, Bank Sohar, Oman Arab Bank and ahlibank.