Oman crude price average soars 26pc during January – July 2018

The average price of Oman crude jumped a significant 26.7 per cent to $65.4 per barrel during the January- July period of 2018, the Central Bank of Oman stated in a review of banking and monetary developments during the month of July this year. This compares with an average of $51.6 per barrel for the corresponding period of 2017, it said.
GDP growth at current prices stood at 6.5 per cent during the first quarter of 2018 as against 15.8 per cent during Q1 2017, the apex bank said, citing preliminary data for the Sultanate’s national account.
Inflationary pressures in the Sultanate remained generally benign, it noted. The average annual inflation rate based on the consumer price index was about 0.8 per cent during January-July 2018 versus 1.8 per cent in the same period of last year.
The consolidated balance sheet for the banking sector, encompassing conventional and Islamic banks and windows, showed an increase in the credit balance to RO 24.3 billion by the end of July 2018, entailing a growth of 6.3 per cent over the same period last year, the Central Bank said.
Total credit granted to the private sector increased 5.4 per cent to RO 21.7 billion at the end of July 2018. Total deposits of the banking sector grew 3.4 per cent to RO 22.3 billion, with private sector deposits increasing 2.6 per cent to reach RO 14.1 billion.
Total assets of conventional banks rose 4.8 per cent to RO 28.8 billion, up from RO 27.5 billion at the end of July 2017. Of this total, credit accounted for 72.4 per cent — which was higher by 4.1 per cent at RO 20.9 billion as of end-July 2018.
Credit to the private sector grew 2.9 per cent to RO 18.6 billion. The share of the non-financial sector was 46.7 per cent, followed by the retail sector — mostly in the form of personal loans — with 44.9 per cent. Financial corporations and other sectors accounted for 5.8 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively, of credit to the private sector.
On the liabilities side, total deposits increased by only 1.8 per cent to RO 19.2 billion as of end-July 2018, up from RO 18.9 billion last year, according to the Central Bank report.
Islamic banking entities provided financing to the tune of RO 3.4 billion during the period under review, up from RO 2.8 billion a year earlier. Total deposits held with Islamic banks and windows increased substantially by 14.5 per cent to RO 3 billion, up from RO 2.7 billion a year ago. The total assets of Islamic banks and windows amounted to RO 4.1 billion as of July-end 2018, constituting about 12.6 per cent of the entire banking system assets.
With regard to the domestic interest rate structure of conventional banks, the CBO report noted that the weighted average interest rate on RO deposits increased to 1.731 per cent in July 2018, up from 1.675 per cent a year earlier.
The weighted average RO lending rate increased to 5.250 per cent from 5.157 per cent during the period under review last year.
The overnight Rial Omani domestic inter-bank lending rate increased further to 2.147 per cent in July 2018, up from 1.896 per cent in the previous month.
The average Repo rate for liquidity injection by the CBO stood at 2.582 per cent per annum during July 2018, the report added.