Liquidity available, rial stable

MUSCAT: Liquidity in both local and foreign currency is available at the Central Bank of Oman (CBO), said Hamood bin Sangour al Zadjali, Executive President of CBO. “The central bank has sufficient reserves to meet the demand,” he said, adding the Omani rial is in a “strong position” supported by adequate reserves. Speaking on the sidelines of a forum on ‘Cyber Defence and Network Security,’ Al Zadjali said commercial banks continue to offer personal, commercial and industrial loans for all economic sectors in the Sultanate. Following the activation of tourism, logistics and industrial sectors, the banks will have to play a bigger role in helping the private sector boost these promising sectors, he added.
Al Zadjali expects the credit sector to maintain a growth rate of 8-10 per cent this year, with the private sector expected to play a key role.
He expects the government to issue bonds worth RO 600 million this year.
“The forum assumes greater significance at a time of increasing risk of cyber attacks that threaten international systems,” Al Zadjali said. “The Sultanate is taking suitable measures to combat such attacks.”
The CBO has asked all commercial banks across the country to take necessary precautions and improve cyber security, Al Zadjali added.
“The process is currently on to enact a special law for the protection of e-payment. It is expected to be passed in the middle of this year after getting approvals from the Council of Ministers, State Council and Majlis Ash’shura,” he said.
The forum discussed cyber threat situation in the Middle East; essential steps for effective management of cyber risks; best practices to manage the risks; developing a cyber-risk mitigation strategy and the impact of cyber risk on reputation and how to stay protected.
Abdul Razaq Ali Issa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oman Banks Association (OBA), said: “Cyber security affects all and OBA is proud to host the first forum aimed at highlighting the best practices in cyber security. At a time when cyber crimes are widespread, the strengthening of cooperation and coordination among the regulatory, law enforcement and banking institutions is vital to prevent and control crimes through the latest technological applications and exchange of expertise.”