CMA suspends tax on dividends for 3 years

Muscat: The Capital Market Authority (CMA) on Wednesday announced suspension of 10 per cent tax on dividends for three years. “The landmark decision, taken to boost foreign investments in the Sultanate, could be further extended,” said Abdullah bin Salem al Salmi, Chief Executive Officer, CMA. He said that the decision is an effective step to provide further incentives and additional facilities to attract more direct and
indirect investments. “This will make the Sultanate an attractive destination for global investments and make the stock market stronger,” he said in the regulator’s Twitter account.

According to Al Salmi, the decision reflects the Sultanate’s opening-up policy in dealing with foreign investments and the principles of market economy, which will enable the private sector to play a greater role in comprehensive development programmes and policies. The regulator pointed out that this step translates the keenness of the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos to create an appropriate environment and factors that help attract more foreign investments to develop the national economy and achieve national interests. According to reports, the number of companies subjected to the foreign investment law in Oman increased to 8,811 with total capital of RO 3.760 billion at the end of December 31, 2018.

In 2017, the number stood at 7,992 companies with a total capital of RO 3.642 billion. The government has been working on the Foreign Direct Investment Law (FDI) to regulate and encourage investments, with the rights of the investor being protected. Through improvements to the infrastructure, providing capital to finance domestic and increasing job opportunities for Omanis, the FDI will benefit the economy as this initiative will revise the law to open the market to foreign investors through granting 100 per cent ownership and a reduction in minimum capital requirements. The law is expected to be enacted in 2019 as it is in the final stages of the legislative process.