3.2pc rise in banking credit to private sector in Q1

Muscat: The total outstanding credit extended by conventional and Islamic banks (Other Depository Corporations or ODCs) grew by 3.7 per cent to RO 26.4 billion as of March 31, 2020, according to the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).

Credit to the private sector rose by 3.2 per cent to RO 23.1 billion during this period, the apex bank said.  Of the total credit to the private sector, the non-financial corporate sector and the household sector (mainly under personal loans) received a share of 46.7 per cent and 44.6 per cent respectively, while financial corporations received 5.4 per cent and other sectors the remaining 3.3 per cent.

Total deposits held with ODCs registered a growth of 4.8 per cent and stood at RO 24.1 billion at the end of March 2020. Private sector deposits increased by 9.1 per cent to RO 15.9 billion.  Sector-wise, the share of households was largest at 48.8 per cent in the total private sector deposit, followed by non-financial corporations at 32 per cent, financial corporations at 16.9 per cent and the other sectors at 2.3 percent.

“The combined balance sheet of conventional banks denotes an annual growth of 2.7 per cent in total outstanding credit as on end-March 2020. Conventional banks’ credit to the private sector increased by 1.6 per cent to RO 19.2 billion,” the Central Bank said in its review of banking and monetary developments in the first quarter of this year.

Conventional banks’ overall investments in securities amounted to RO 3.7 billion, according to the report. Investment in Government Development Bonds increased by 23.4 per cent over the year to RO 1.8 billion. Banks also invested RO 263.2 million in Government Treasury Bills, while their investments in foreign securities stood at RO 1.1 billion at the end of March 2020.

Aggregate deposits held with conventional banks increased to RO 20.6 billion in March 2020, registering a growth of 4.1 per cent over the level a year ago. Government deposits with conventional banks decreased by 10.9 per cent to RO 4.9 billion, while deposits of public enterprises increased by 30.2 per cent to RO 1.6 billion. Private sector deposits, which accounted for 66.5 per cent of total deposits with conventional banks, increased by 7.8 per cent to RO 13.7 billion.

Islamic banking entities provided financing of RO 4.1 billion at the end of March 2020,

recording a growth of 9.6 per cent over that a year ago. Total deposits held with Islamic banks

and windows increased by 9 per cent to RO 3.5 billion. The total assets of Islamic Banks and

Windows stood at RO 4.8 billion and constituted about 14 per cent of the banking system’s assets as on end-March 2020.