Message from the CEO

The Oman Banking and Finance Directory for 2017, published by Oman Establishment for Press, Publication & Advertising provides valid information about data on banks and other financial institutions operating in the Sultanate.

We are glad to present the Directory, which is in its fourth consecutive year of publishing.

Even as the weakening oil prices continue as a major concern, the economy of Oman appeared comfortably placed to weather the situation mainly thanks to the prudent policies followed by the government since the beginning of the Blessed Renaissance. The economy of Oman fared fairly well without much damage despite the oil market malaise. The Sultanate has proactively kept high fiscal buffers, higher capital requirements for banks, low government debt, and flexible wage contracts.

Despite the challenges facing the economy in the current scenario of low oil prices, the banking sector remains vibrant and promising taking into account economic diversification initiatives, sustained domestic demand with a growing young population, accommodative monetary policies and the enhanced role of the private sector in the development process.

The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) plays a crucial role in maintaining financial stability, pursuing accommodative monetary policy, developing and strengthening financial institutions and markets, and supervising and regulating the banking sector. The institutional framework of the financial sector falling directly under the jurisdiction of the CBO embodied mainly conventional commercial banks, Islamic banks and Islamic Windows, specialized banks, non-bank finance and leasing companies and money exchange and draft issuing establishments.

Stability map in the Sultanate’s banking sector shows that some indicators have deteriorated, while others have improved during the year. However, on balance, the stability of the banking system stayed intact as the banking sector remained well capitalized, profitable, and fairly liquid with low infection ratio. As Oman follows a fixed exchange rate regime, therefore, maintenance of the peg against US dollar is a primary policy objective. As of December 2015, only one-third of the CBO’s reserves were sufficient to support the Omani Riyal.

With warm regards

Saif Bin Soud Bin Ali Al Mahrooqi
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Oman Establishment for Press, Publication & Advertising