Oman Eyes Debt Market

Oman is planning to issue $1.5-2bn of international bonds in 2017 to plug its budget deficit, senior central bank official Ali Hamdan al-Raisi says. Finance ministry official Muhammad Jawad bin Sleiman adds that Oman has yet to decide whether it will be a normal bond or loan, or sukuk.

Oman has been active in the international debt market this year raising a total of $5bn: a $1bn loan in January, $2.5bn of bonds in June and $1.5bn of bonds in September. But Mr Raisi is confident there will be appetite for Omani debt.

The Sultanate is heading for a record budget deficit in 2016, having hit OR4.4bn ($11.4bn) for the first nine months of the year, up sharply from OR2.9bn ($7.5bn) for Jan-Sep 2015. The originally-projected full-year deficit of OR3.3bn ($8.6bn) has already been exceeded (MEES, 8 January). (CONTINUED - 382 WORDS)