MUSCAT Oman’s capital markets are primed for expansion as a wave of key reforms in the Sultanate’s financial services sector gain pace, according to the Executive President of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) HE Yahya Bin Said Al Jabri.
Global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) has quoted Al Jabri as saying that the legislative changes and incentives aimed at encouraging family holdings to list would play an important role in attracting investors to the Sultanate.
Al Jabri stated that activity on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) would rise in the coming months, with a number of new companies set to be listed. Further, the launch of Islamic banking in Oman would contribute to the expansion of Oman’s capital markets.
“We have witnessed a 6 -7 per cent growth on the MSM over last year, which shows that the capital markets have recovered from the world financial crisis,” Al Jabri said. “Investors are returning to pump in funds in the market,” he added.
The Director General of the MSM Ahmed Saleh Al Marhoon agreed that Oman’s capital markets were ripe for further growth.
“We are optimistic about the capital markets, particularly the prospect of new IPOs which look set to be listed in the near future. We’re preparing ourselves for a real take-off,” said Al Marhoon.
Al Jabri and Al Marhoon gave these opinions to OBG to assist it in compiling ‘The Report: Oman 2012’, the Group’s forthcoming guide on the Sultanate’s economic activity and investment opportunities.
OBG’s report will offer a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for foreign investors, alongside interviews with the most prominent political, economic and business leaders, including His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers HH Sayyid Fahd Bin Mahmoud Al Said.
The report will feature a chapter on Oman’s capital markets which will include an interview of the chairman of the MSM.
Leading international personalities, such as the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, Director General of Unesco Irina Bokova, and the President and CEO of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce David Hamod will also feature in the report speaking about Oman’s economic development.
He hoped that incentives, such as reducing the floating percentage for IPOs for family holdings from 40 per cent to 25 per cent, would also lead to greater activity on the MSM. “We have asked banks to get involved and inform customers with family holdings of the benefits of listing their company,” Al Jabri said and added that with many international banks expected to step up their requirements for transparency in Oman’s family businesses, corporate governance should remain a key focus for both private companies and government entities.
By Oman Tribune