Muscat: Total personal loans provided by commercial banks in Oman for the first nine months of 2015 rose to OMR7.164 billion, a growth of OMR508.5 million or 7.64 per cent over December 2014.
Loan provided by commercial banks to importers in the first nine months of 2015 crossed OMR1 billion for the first time to stay at OMR1.051 billion, a growth of OMR178.8 million or 20.5 per cent over December 2014. This is the highest credit growth among different sectors. The sector maintained the growth rate achieved in the corresponding period in 2014.
The import sector has witnessed a good growth benefiting from growth in demand for imported goods resulting from the increase in the average salaries and the job opportunities that have been created over the past years. The credit provided to the sector over the past three years increased by 50 per cent to rise from OMR698.9 million in September 2012 to OMR1.051 billion by the end of the third quarter last year.
The value of imported commodities in the first seven months of 2015 stood at OMR6.5 billion, including OMR1.2 billion for equipment and electrical appliances, OMR1.071 billion for transport equipment, OMR981.6 million for mineral products and OMR723.3 million for normal minerals and their products.
The growth in credit for the import sector goes in line with the economic growth being witnessed by the Sultanate. The credit provided by the commercial banks to the different economic sectors over the first nine months of 2015 has witnessed a good growth that has reflected well on the development of these activities. Besides the growth of the import sector, other sectors also recorded a remarkable growth.
The credit provided by the commercial banks to service sector grew by 13.4 per cent to OMR1.629 billion by the end of September 2015 from OMR1.437 billion by the end of December 2014.
The loans provided to the construction sector grew by 7.6 per cent to OMR1.907 billion; an increase by OMR135.7 million compared to December 2014.
The different sectors benefited from the growth in the non-oil activities last year. The credit provided by the commercial banks to the sector at the first nine months of 2015 stood at OMR18,168 million, a growth of OMR1.270 billion compared to December 2014.
The Sultanate seeks to strengthen the contribution of non-oil sectors to the gross domestic product (GDP). During the first half of 2015, the contribution of non-oil activities to the GDP grew by 3.7 per cent to OMR8.9 billion including OMR2.3 billion for the industrial activities, which grew by 4.7 per cent, OMR6.4 billion for the service activities, which grew by OMR213.3 million; a growth of 3.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2014.