Oman is seeking to raise as much as US$1.2bn to finance infrastructure at the country’s Duqm Special Economic Zone.
Standard Chartered Plc is working as global coordinator to help Oman’s debt management office raise the funds that could be backed by the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), according to an official at the Ministry of Finance. Oman may raise the financing through a loan or bond with a potential maturity of 15 to 20 years, said the official, asking not to be identified.
The financing would help the government diversify its funding sources, extend its debt maturity profile and reduce costs, the official said. MIGA, which provides political risk insurance, is evaluating the proposal, he said.
As oil prices more than halved in the two years through 2016, Oman’s budget deficit swelled to 21.6 per cent of gross domestic product. The country has more than doubled its external debt in the three years through 2017, according to International Monetary Fund data.
Oman was the first Gulf state to tap international capital markets this year to bridge its budget deficit, selling US$6.5bn of bonds. Together with its sale in January, the sultanate raised US$18bn from the sale of dollar bonds since the start of 2016, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
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