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Finance & Banking | Global Arab Network
Oman: Commercial banks’ total assets show modest rise by 5.5%
Global Arab Network - - Andy McDonough
Muscat - Total assets of commercial banks in Oman increased modestly by 5.5 per cent to RO 14,264.3 million in October 2009 from RO 13,520 million in October 2008. The expansion in commercial banks’ assets was driven by 9.8 per cent growth in credit which stood at RO 9,753.1 million as at the end of October 2009 compared to RO 8,879.2 million at the end of October 2008, according to CBO report. Outstanding investments in securities (domestic and foreign) increased by 43.7 per cent to RO 1,761.9 million from RO 1,225.7 million a year ago.

Investments in CBO CDs increased to RO 1,225 million at the end of October 2009 from RO 639 million at the end of October 2008, while commercial banks’ outstanding investments in foreign securities decreased by 20.8 per cent to RO 249 million from RO 314.4 million during the same period. Commercial banks’ assets in the form of cash and deposits with the CBO amounted to RO. 775.7 million at the end of October 2009 in comparison to its level of RO 922.5 million in October 2008.

On the liabilities side of the balance sheet, aggregate deposits (Omani rial plus foreign currency) of commercial banks as at the end of October 2009 increased by 8.3 per cent to RO 8,971.1 million over its corresponding level of RO 8,281.7 million a year ago. Private sector deposits increased by 7.7 per cent to RO 6,497.4 million, representing 72.4 per cent of total deposits, whereas Government deposits rose by 19.6 per cent to RO 1,831.6 million, representing 20.4 per cent of total deposits, while deposits of public enterprises decreased by 10.2 per cent to RO 642.1 million during the same period.

Core capital and reserves of commercial banks at the end of October 2009 amounted to RO 1,632.1 million, representing 11.4 per cent of commercial banks’ total assets. Provisional figures on profits of commercial banks (after provisions and taxes) for the first ten months of 2009 amounted to RO 231.9 million in comparison to its level of RO 227.6 million at the end of October 2008. Broad money (M2) increased by 5.6 per cent to RO 7,775.9 million in October 2009 over the same period in 2008. Money supply as represented by narrow money (M1) comprising of currency held by the public and local currency demand deposits expanded by 8.4 per cent over the twelve month period ending in October 2009 to reach RO 2,311.8 million.

Quasi money (comprising RO savings and time deposits, certificates of deposit issued by commercial banks, margin deposits and foreign currency denominated deposits) increased on a year-on-year basis by 4.4 per cent to RO 5,464.1 million in October 2009. As regards the sources of broad money supply (M2), domestic assets of both, commercial banks and the Central Bank of Oman increased marginally by 2.1 per cent, while combined net foreign assets of CBO and commercial banks increased by 8.2 per cent, mainly on account of a 14.6 per cent rise in net foreign assets of the CBO.

In line with global interest rate developments (particularly of the Federal Reserve) CBO’s policy interest rate for absorption of surplus liquidity in the form of CBO CDs of 28 days maturity moderated significantly from 0.815 per cent to 0.046 per cent over the twelve month period ending October 2009. Furthermore, CBO’s policy rate for injection of liquidity -the average rate for repos with CBO- declined to 2 per cent from 4.904 per cent during the same period under reference.

Similarly, the overnight RO domestic inter-bank lending rate declined to 0.064 per cent in October 2009 from 1.464 per cent in October 2008. With respect to the behaviour of commercial banks’ domestic interest rate structure, the weighted average interest rate on RO deposits (demand, savings and time deposits of all sectors) increased from 2.056 per cent in October 2008 to 2.345 per cent in October 2009. (Omannet)

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