State Grid Corporation of China is to buy 49% of state-owned Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC). State Grid will pay $1bn for the stake, Mansour al-Hinai, deputy chief executive of Omani state umbrella firm Nama Holding, announced 17 December. The money will be used to “pay the deficit in the general budget or pay part of public debt,” he says.

Oman’s deficit is on track to come in at $4.4bn (5.7% of GDP), and the OETC sale will cover almost a quarter of this. While Oman is successfully bringing its deficit down (from $6.9bn in 2018), cumulative debt is mounting and the IMF forecasts zero GDP growth this year (MEES, 29 November). (CONTINUED - 600 WORDS)