Oman Investment Authority (OIA), the integrated sovereign wealth fund of the Sultanate of Oman, plans to ramp up investments across its sizable portfolio in 2023, as well as exit certain other investments as part of a strategy to align its growth objections with the nation’s broader economic development.
OIA Chairman Abdulsalam Mohammed al Murshidi (pictured) said a total of 65 new investments and expansions are planned in 2023. These are distributed across diverse sectors: Logistics 19, Energy – 5, Communications and Information Technology - 12, Mining – 5, Services – 12, and Food Security / Fisheries – 12.
Speaking at a media briefing on the preliminary estimates of the 2023 Oman Budget, Al Murshidi, said the Authority intends to spend RO 1.9 billion on investment projects during 2023. These include the expansion and consolidation of existing projects and the completion of projects under implementation.
Funding of new investments will be undertaken through partnerships with the local and foreign private sectors, along with contributions from the OIA or its subsidiaries or from financing institutions. Due consideration will be given to the objective of cutting down the total debts of OIA subsidiaries during the next five years, he said.
Al Murshidi underscored the need to proceed with the Exit Plan announced by the OIA in 2022. The plan envisages exits from 8 investments in 2023, to be distributed as follows: 3 in the energy sector, 3 in the aviation, industry and tourism sectors, and 2 in the communications and information technology sector — thus generating returns exceeding RO 500 million.
In addition, the Authority aims to work towards clearing the outstanding debt of subsidiary or associate companies, returning rotating investments that have reached maturity with investments that are still at an early stage of growth, forming partnerships with the private sector including local and international investors, as well as strategic and financial investors, and expanding the Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX).
Market experts are unanimous in their opinion that the Sultanate of Oman has succeeded in achieving its goals by controlling inflation levels, rationalising public spending and preserving resources in general, thereby enhancing the state's position in attracting global investments.
This in turn has boosted the confidence of investors exploring investment opportunities in Oman, especially in the renewable energy sector.
At the media briefing, hosted by the Ministry of Finance, it was also announced that total public expenditure in 2023 is estimated at about RO 12.950 billion, entailing an increase of 7 per cent over the approved expenditure in the 2022 budget.