Oman wealth fund ramps up local investments

The State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) — the largest wealth fund of the Sultanate of Oman — has broadened its domestic investment portfolio to include, among other areas, renewables, space communications and Information & Communications Technology (ICT), in sync with the government economic diversification strategy.
The Fund, which is part of the Ministry of Finance, said in its newly published Annual Report for 2018 that its investment decisions are guided by a desire to support a “better future and sustainable development for generations to come”.
“In addition to our investments in different continents of the world, we are targeting a number of areas where we believe in their ability to achieve economic and social added value for the people of the Sultanate of Oman and the economy as a whole. We are also working to harness the vast network of our international relations to bring international investments to the Sultanate, which are in line with the State’s plans,” the wealth fund noted.
The targeted sectors, according to the Muscat-headquartered wealth fund, include those associated with the food processing and building materials industrials.
Also of interest to the Fund is the health services sector which it billed as a key area of focus for the Omani government, given its importance to sustaining the well-being of future Omani generations. Other sectors in the Fund’s sights are logistics and related infrastructure sectors, pharmaceuticals, mining and technology, it said.
In line with these objectives, the SGRF helped launch the Oman Information Technology and Communications Group (OITCG) in partnership with the Information Technology Authority (ITA) last year. The Group’s investments and initiatives are designed to integrate Oman’s strategies for ICT development, as well as harness the power of the 4th Industrial Revolution, to support the nation’s economic development.
Also in 2018, the Fund supported the establishment of the Space Communication Technologies Company, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The outfit has the mandate to meet the Sultanate’s satellite communications requirements.
Eager to bolster Oman’s nascent renewable energy sector, the Fund set up Energy Development Oman to drive the development of renewable energy projects based on the latest and emerging technologies.
“One of the company’s strategic objectives is to become a leading developer from the early stage of projects, as well as a key player in the development of solar PV energy in Oman,” the SGRF said. “The Company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Shell and EnerTech of Kuwait Investment Authority to develop investment opportunities in the field of renewable energy in Oman. The Company is also developing the solar thermal energy plant at Mukhaizna field based on GlassPoint technology.”
Demonstrating its support for the food sector, SGRF is an investor in Nakheel Oman Development Company, which was launched by Oman National Investment Development Company (Tanmia) in partnership with the Diwan of Royal Court in implementation of His Majesty the Sultan’s One Million Date Palm Trees Project. SGRF has committed funding of RO 18.5 million towards Nakheel Oman’s total investment of RO 92 million towards the project.