Oman’s trade sees RO 6.5bn surplus
11th, January 2014
MUSCAT — The Sultanate’s gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices increased modestly by 2.6 per cent to stand at RO 22.7 billion during the first nine months of 2013 compared to RO 22.1 billion during the same period in 2012 as the banking sector continued its positive growth. The price situation remained by and large under control during 2013. Up to November, the average inflation rate, measured by annual variation in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Sultanate, stood lower at 1.3 per cent compared to 2.9 per cent a year ago. As regards the fiscal and external position of the Sultanate in 2013, the overall fiscal surplus stood at RO 610.2 million at the end of November, while merchandise trade registered a surplus of RO 6.5 billion at the end of August.
The combined balance sheet of commercial banks indicated positive growth in all major banking aggregates. Total assets of commercial banks increased by 7.8 per cent to RO 22.3 billion in November compared to RO 20.7 billion in 2012. Of the total assets, credit disbursement accounted for 68.4 per cent and increased by 6.3 per cent over the year to RO 15.2 billion as at the end of November. While credit to the government declined by 39.3 per cent, credit to the private sector and public enterprises increased by 7 per cent and 3.1 per cent, respectively. Of the total credit to the private sector by end of November, the share of the non-financial corporate sector stood at 47.1 per cent, closely followed by the household sector (mainly personal loans) at 45.5 per cent, financial corporations at 5 per cent and other sectors the remaining at 2.4 per cent.
Overall investments of commercial banks in securities increased by 11 per cent to RO 2.4 billion as at the end of November from RO 2.2 billion in 2012. Of total investments, CBO CDs stood at RO 1.1 billion while investment in government development bonds stood at RO 558.6 million as at the end of November. On the liabilities side of the balance sheet, total deposits held with commercial banks also witnessed a significant rise of 7.5 per cent to RO 15.2 billion in November from RO 14.1 billion in November 2012. Government deposits with commercial banks increased by 15.1 per cent to RO 4.5 billion, while deposits of public enterprises declined by 11.4 per cent to RO 867.9 million during the same period.
Private sector deposits, which constituted 62.8 per cent of total deposits with commercial banks, increased by 5.6 per cent to RO 9.5 billion in November from RO 9 billion during the same period in 2012. Sector-wise, the share of households was 49.3 per cent of the total private sector deposit base, followed by non-financial corporations at 26.4 per cent, financial corporations at 22.7 per cent (of which pension funds accounted for almost 19 per cent of private sector deposits) and other sectors at 1.6 per cent. The provisional figure for net profits of commercial banks (domestic operations) stood higher at RO 290.6 million for the period January to November 2013 compared to RO 272.1 million during the corresponding period in 2012.