Oman’s commercial banks recorded a strong growth of 10.04 per cent in total credit, which stood at OMR18.17 billion for the first nine months of 2015 compared with OMR16.51bn in the same period of 2014, according to official data.
The incremental credit growth of all the sultanate’s banks in absolute terms stood at OMR1.657bn in a year, according to the figures by the Central Bank of Oman.
The data indicates that most of the corporate sector’s demand for credit aimed to fund projects that are either state-owned entities like Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (ORPIC) or semi-government firms.
ORPIC is currently carrying out three major capital projects: the Sohar Refinery expansion, the Liwa Plastics Project and a-230 km-long pipeline between Muscat and Sohar.
According to the report published by the Times of Oman, major real estate investments are also driving demand for credit from the country’s banks.
Meanwhile, total deposits with Omani banks picked up by six per cent in the first nine months of the current year to 2015 at OMR18.14bn, against OMR17.11bn for the same period last year, according to monthly statistics.
(OMR1 = AED9.54, at the time of publishing