2.5pc growth in banking credit to private sector: CBO

Muscat: The total outstanding credit extended by other depository corporations (ODCs) in the Sultanate – comprising conventional and Islamic banks — grew by 2.5 per cent RO 25.9 billion at the end of February2020, the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) announced in its newly public review of banking and monetary developments for February 2020.

Credit to the private sector rose by 2.5 per cent to RO 22.9 billion, it stated. Of the total credit to the private sector, the non-financial corporate sector and the household sector (mainly under personal loans) received shares of 45.5 per cent and 45.1 per cent, respectively, while the financial corporations received 5.4 per cent and other sectors the remaining 4.0 per cent.

Total deposits held with ODCs registered a growth of 4.0 per cent and stood at RO 23.6 billion at the end of February2020. Private sector deposits increased by 7.2 per cent to RO 15.4 billion.

Sector-wise, the share of households in the total private sector deposit was largest at 50.0 per cent, followed by non-financial corporations at 30.9 per cent, financial corporations at 16.8 per cent and the other sectors at 2.3 per cent, the apex bank said.

“The combined balance sheet of conventional banks denotes an annual growth of 1.4 per cent in total outstanding credit as on end-February2020. Conventional banks’ credit to the private sector increased by 0.8 per cent to about RO 19 billion. Conventional banks’ overall investments in securities amounted to RO 3.8 billion,” the Central Bank noted.

Investment in Government Development Bonds and Government Sukuk increased by 21.9 per cent over the year to RO 1.7 billion. Banks also invested RO 278.3 million in Government Treasury Bills, while their investments in foreign securities stood at RO 1.2 billion at the end of February 2020.

Aggregate deposits held with conventional banks increased to RO 20.1 billion in February2019, registering a growth of 3.4 per cent over the level a year ago. Government deposits with conventional banks decreased by 5.4 per cent to RO 5.2 billion, while deposits of public enterprises increased by 21.7 per cent to RO 1.3 billion. Private sector deposits, which accounted for 65.6 per cent of total deposits with conventional banks, increased by 5.3 per cent to RO 13.2 billion.

Islamic banking entities provided financing to the extent of RO 4 billion at the end of February 2020, recording a growth of 9.5 per cent over that a year ago. Total deposits held with Islamic banks and windows increased by 7.3 per cent to RO 3.5 billion. The total assets of Islamic banks

and Windows stood at RO 4.9 billion and constituted about 14 per cent of the banking system assets as on end-February2020.