CBO assesses vulnerabilities in macro-financial system

MUSCAT, April 4 – The Central Bank of Oman’s (CBO) Financial Stability Department (FSD) held a meeting on the ‘Assessment of Vulnerabilities in the Omani Macro-Financial System with External Stakeholders’ on Monday. The meeting was intended to receive the feedback of market participants on issues of potential distress brewing in the Omani economy, in addition to sharing information on developments in the area of financial stability with the participants. During the meeting special emphasis was made on the probable economic fallout due to the current economic developments in the wake of sharp decline in oil prices and its implications on the financial system.
Accordingly, FSD officials held a series of presentations explaining the impact of low oil prices on the Omani economy in addition to providing an overview on the recent developments in the area of financial stability management in Oman. Nominees from banks and FLCs and academia (SQU) attended the meeting in which they raised queries on issues of common interest such as interest risks, oil price fall and their implication on fiscal space and overall growth of the economy. Initiating the discussion, Dr Qais al Yahyaei, Head of Financial Stability Department, welcomed the participants and noted that this meeting was being held at a critical time of twin deficit in fiscal balance and current account due to decrease in revenue on account of persistent low oil prices.
Dr Qais also presented an overview on the financial health of the banking sector. The data as of end-December 2016 showed that there is no immediate concerns on capital adequacy, liquidity, assets quality and profitability positions of the banks. He, however noted, that concentration of loans, deposits, and borrowers continues to be an issue of concern to the banking sector. Dr Qais also emphasised that the current prevailing macroeconomic uncertainty warrants extra vigilance and cautionary measures from banks in their exposures towards sensitive sectors such as real estate and personal loans.