Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz (which it shares with Iran) and the Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries.
Oman’s banking sector is regulated by the CBO, which is also bestowed with the task of supervising the nation’s monetary policy. The CBO is a proactive regulatory authority, actively involved in managing sector risk through a macro and micro-regulatory framework. It is headed by a seven-member board of governors, appointed by the Sultan and has a deputy chairman, who chairs regular board meetings. The banking sector locally comprises of seven commercial banks, two Islamic banks, and 18 foreign banks. There are also two development banks: the Oman Housing Bank, which supports housing development; and the Oman Development Bank, which finances corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and additional projects in various sectors. Profitability among Oman’s banks has been healthy given strong interest spreads that persist between deposit and lending rates. In 2012, the six listed banks in the country reported total profits of approximately $691m implying a return of equity of 13.4 percent and growth of 25 percent over 2011. While government and public enterprises aid sector funding by accounting for a substantial portion of deposits (at 35 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2013), their borrowings are limited. The private sector accounts for 87 percent of total credit for the bulk of the outstanding borrowings and has been the mainstay of credit growth in recent years.
|Agriculture||Dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa & vegetables.|
|Manufacture||Crude oil production and refining, natural and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production; construction, cement, copper, steel, chemicals & optic fiber.|
|Services (Including financial)||34.6% (2013 estimate)|
|The Shaksy Group||Conglomerate|
|Oman LNG||Oil & gas|
The Muscat Securities Market (MSM) is the only stock exchange in Oman. It was established by the Royal Decree (53/88) issued on 21 June 1988, to regulate and control the Omani securities market and to participate, effectively, with other organizations for setting up the infrastructure of the Sultanate's financial sector. After ten years of continuous growth, there was a need for better functioning of the market. Thus two Royal Decrees have restructured MSM (80/98) and (82/98). The Royal Decree (80/98) dated November 9, 1998, which promulgated the new Capital Market Law, provides for the establishment of two separate entities, an exchange, Muscat Securities Market (MSM), where all listed securities shall be traded, and the Capital Market Authority (CMA) - the regulatory. The exchange is a governmental entity, financially and administratively independent from the regulatory but subject to its supervision. Thus the securities industry in Oman was well established to enhance investors' confidence by developing and improving all the processes appertaining to the stock market. As a continuing process in the development of the securities market, the MSM has developed its regulations to provide information and financial data relating to the performance of the Market and all listed companies directly to investors through a highly advanced electronic trading system. This will not only ensure transparency of dealings which is considered to be one of the main principles of fair trading but will encourage investors to make the right investment decision at the right time.
The 2008 financial crash was a self- inflicted, avoidable economic catastrophe. It wasn't the result of war or political turmoil, or the consequence of competition from emerging economies. It didn't derive from underlying tensions over income distribution or from profligate government spending. No, the origins of this crisis lay in the dealing rooms of London and New York banks and shadow banks -- part of a global financial system whose enormous personal rewards had been justified by the supposed economic benefits of financial innovation and increased financial activity. Many people are legitimately angry that few bankers have been punished. Some were incompetent, others dishonest. Yet they were not a fundamental driver of the crisis any more than the misbehavior of individual financiers in 1920s America caused the Great Depression. Post-crisis regulatory reforms also miss the mark. Much focus has been placed on making sure that taxpayers never again have to bail out “ too big to fail” banks. That's certainly important, but government bailout costs were small change compared with the total harm the financial crisis caused.
The Federal Reserve has sold all its capital injections into banks at a profit, and made a positive return on its provision of liquidity to the financial system. Across the advanced economies, bailout and support costs will be, at most, 3 percent of gross domestic product. The full economic cost is far bigger. Advanced economies' public debt on average increased by 34 percent of GDP between 2007 and 2014. More important, national incomes and living standards in many countries are 10 percent or more below where they could have been, and are likely to remain there in perpetuity. Such losses could happen again, and neither banker threatened by prison nor a no-bailout regime will guarantee a more stable financial system. A fixation on these issues threatens to divert us from the underlying causes of financial instability. The fundamental problem is that modern financial systems inevitably create debt in excessive quantities. The debt they create doesn't finance new capital investment but the purchase of existing assets, and above all real estate. Debt drives booms and financial busts. And it is a debt overhang from the last boom that explains why recovery from the 2007–2008 crisis has been so anemic.
Debt creation is a form of economic pollution. Heating a house or fueling a car is necessary, yet the carbon emissions are harmful to the climate. Lending family money to buy a house is socially useful, but too much mortgage debt can make the economy unstable. Debt pollution, like environmental pollution, must be constrained by public policies that go beyond current regulatory reforms. We must focus on the most important causes of the 2008 crisis and recession. Those lay in the specific nature of debt contracts, and in the ability of banks and shadow banks to create credit and money. Throughout history, religious and moral philosophers have been wary of debt contracts. But economists convincingly argued that debt contracts play a crucial role in capitalist growth. Debt that delivered a predefined return made it possible to mobilize savings and capital investment for 19th-century railways and 20th-century manufacturing plants. These developments might not have happened if the investment had to take a more risky equity form. But debt contracts also have adverse consequences: They' re likely to be created in excessive quantities. And the more debt an economy assumes, the less stable that economy will be. The dangers of excessive debt creation are magnified by the existence of banks and the predominance of certain kinds of lending. Almost any economics or finance textbook will describe how banks take money from savers and lend it to borrowers, allocating money among investment options.
From the late 17th century, the Omani Sultanate was a powerful empire, vying with Portugal and Britain for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to modern-day Iran and Pakistan, and as far south as Zanzibar (today part of Tanzania, also former capital). As its power declined in the 20th century, the sultanate came under the influence of the United Kingdom. Historically, Muscat was the principal trading port of the Persian Gulf region. Muscat was also among the most important trading ports of the Indian Ocean. Oman's official religion is Islam.
Oman is an absolute monarchy. The Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said has been the hereditary leader of the country since 1970. Sultan Qaboos is the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East. Oman has modest oil reserves, ranking 25th globally. Nevertheless, in 2010 the UNDP ranked Oman as the most improved nation in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years. A significant portion of its economy is tourism and trade of fish, dates, and certain agricultural produce. This sets it apart from its neighbors' solely oil-dependent economy. Oman is categorized as a high-income economy and ranks as the 74th most peaceful country in the world according to the Global Peace Index. In 1955, the exclave coastal Makran strip acceded to Pakistan and was made a district of its Balochistan province, while Gwadar was not included in Makran then. On 8 September 1958, Pakistan purchased the Gwadar enclave from Oman for US$3 million. Gwadar then became a tehsil in the Makran district. Oil reserves were discovered in 1964 and extraction began in 1967. In the Dhofar Rebellion, which began in 1965, leftist forces were pitted against government troops. As the rebellion threatened to overthrow the Sultan's rule in Dhofar, Sultan Said bin Taimur was deposed in a bloodless coup (1970) by his son Qaboos bin Said, who expanded the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces, modernized the state's administration and introduced social reforms. The uprising was finally put down in 1975 with the help of forces from Iran, Jordan, Pakistan and the British Royal Air Force, army and Special Air Service.
Sayyid Badr bin Saudal Busaidi
Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah
The rial (OMR) is the currency of Oman. It is divided into 1000 baisa. Before 1940, the Indian rupee and the Maria Theresa thaler (known locally as the rial) were the main currencies circulating in Muscat and Oman, as the state was then known, with rupees circulating on the coast and Thaler in the interior. Maria Theresa Thaler was valued at 230 paisa, with 64 paisa equal to the rupee. In 1940, coins were introduced for use in Dhofar, followed, in 1946, by coins for use in Oman. Both coinages were denominated in baisa (equivalent to the paisa), with 200 baisa to the rial. The Indian rupee and, from 1959, the Gulf rupee continued to circulate. In 1970, the rial Saidi (not to be confused with Saudi riyal) was made the currency of Oman. It was equal to the British pound and replaced the Gulf rupee at a rate of approximately 21 rupees to the rial. The new rial was subdivided into 1000 baisa. The rial Omani replaced the rial Saidi at par in 1973. The currency name was altered due to the regime change in 1970 and the subsequent change of the country's name. For a wider history surrounding currency in the region, see The History of British Currency in the Middle East.
In the 1890s, coins for 1?12 and 1?4 anna (1?3 and 1 paisa) were minted specifically for use in Muscat and Oman. In 1940, coins were issued for use in Dhofar in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 baisa. 1?2 rial coins were added in 1948, followed by 3 baisa in 1959. In 1946, 2, 5 and 20 baisa coins were introduced for use in Oman. These were followed, between 1959 and 1960, by 3 baisa, 1?2 and 1 rial coins. In 1970, a coinage for all of Muscat and Oman was introduced. Denominations were 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 baisa. In 1975, new coins were issued with the country's name given as Oman. 1?4 and 1?2 rial coins were introduced in 1980. 100 baisa, 1?4 rial, and 1?2 rial coins made of non-precious metal were also issued in the 1980s. On 7 May 1970, the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman issued banknotes in denominations of 100 baisa, 1?4, 1?2, 1, 5 and 10 rial saidi. These were followed by notes for 100 baisa, 1?4, 1?2, 1, 5 and 10 Omani rials issued by the Oman Currency Board on 18 November 1972. From 1977, the Central Bank of Oman has issued notes, with 20 and 50 rial notes introduced that, followed by 200 baisa notes in 1985. A new 1 rial note is now in circulation alongside the 1970 note which is still accepted. The new 1 rial note is red, similar to the 5 rial note. A new purple 20 rial note was issued in 2010 on the occasion of the 40th National Day. Both the old and new notes are accepted. The 200 baisa note is now out of circulation.
Although the 100 baisa and 20 rial notes are both green, the former is considerably smaller, and thus the two are easily distinguishable. From 1973 to 1986, the rial was pegged to U.S. dollar at 1 rial = 2.895 dollars. In 1986, the rate was changed to 1 rial = 2.6008 dollars, which translates to approximately 1 dollar = 0.384497 rial. The Central Bank buys U.S. dollars at 0.384 rial, and sell U.S. dollars at 0.385 rial. It is the third-highest-valued currency unit after the Kuwaiti dinar and the Bahraini dinar. The Indian Rupee and Maria Theresa Thaler were the main currencies in Muscat and Oman. Indian Rupees circulated on the coast and the Thaler was used in the interior. In 1940, coins were introduced in Dhofar, and in 1946 another series of coins were issued for use in Oman. Both coins were denominated in Baisa, with a rate of 200 Baisa = 1 Rial. The Saudi Riyal became the official currency of Oman in 1970. The Saudi Riyal was equivalent to the British Pound and replaced the Gulf Rupee at a rate of 21 Rupees = 1 Rial. The Omani Rial replaced the Saudi Riyal in 1973.
|National Song||"Nashid as-Salaam as-Sultani"|
|Currency||Omani rial (OMR)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||184.788 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||4.1 Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$46697.96 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
1.0% Other Religions
South Asian (Indian
Sultan and Prime Minister – Qaboos bin Said al Said
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||34.274 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||17.522 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|