Oman: Banks’ role in infrastructure development highlighted
Bank Muscat highlighted the role of local banks in financing infrastructure projects at the 4th Oman Economic Forum (OEF) held last week.
Addressing a session on the ‘Prospects of Banking and Finance Industry,’ chief executive AbdulRazak Ali Issa said, “The outlook for Oman’s economy in 2014 is positive as the government has announced a five per cent increase in spending. The banking sector is poised to post a strong performance owing to the government’s continued focus on economic diversification and infrastructure development across the sultanate. The 2014 investment expenditure is estimated at RO3.2bn, which is 24 per cent of the overall public expenditure.”
Issa added, “Looking forward, the project pipeline in the country for 2014 alone is in excess of RO2.5bn and well in excess of RO9.5bn over the next five years. The Oman railway project and the development of the Special Economic Zone in Duqm are only a few of the very high scale projects announced in the country. We firmly believe that the local banks will continue to play a major role in these mega projects.”
In project and structured finance, Bank Muscat maintains its leadership position by playing an integral part in large-scale infrastructure projects in key sectors such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, shipping, real estate, aviation, power and water. During 2013, the bank was associated with five major syndicated financing programme across various sectors as the mandated lead arranger, a press release said.
Bank Muscat also focused on small and medium enterprises in a presentation by Ilham al Hamaid, AGM of SME credit, marketing and regional corporates.
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