Omani banks, including Islamic institutions, have achieved a year-on-year growth of 6.1 per cent in total credit at OMR22.8 billion by July-end of 2017. Credit to the private sector alone grew by 6.8 per cent to OMR20.6 billion as of the end of July this year. Of the total credit extended to the private sector, the household sector (mainly under personal loans) stood at 46.2 per cent, closely followed by the non-financial corporate sector at 45.5 per cent, while financial corporations and other sectors contributed 5 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively, the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) said in its latest monthly report.
Total deposits of Omani banks rose by 6 per cent to OMR21.6 billion, with private sector deposits growing by 4.3 per cent to OMR13.7 billion as of the end of July. Sector-wise, the contribution of households in total private sector deposits was 48.5 per cent, followed by non-financial corporations at 29.6 per cent, financial corporations at 19 per cent, and the other sectors at 2.9 per cent.
Also, conventional banks achieved an annual growth in total credit of 3.5 per cent as of the end of July, mainly due to credit to the private sector increasing by 4.9 per cent to OMR18.1 billion. Conventional banks’ overall investments in securities grew by 8.1 per cent to OMR2.8 billion, with investment in Government Treasury Bills and foreign securities increasing by10.4 per cent and 26.3 per cent, respectively, by the end of July 2017. The aggregate deposits held with conventional banks increased moderately by 2.3 per cent to OMR18.9 billion in July 2017 from OMR18.4 billion a year ago. Besides, Islamic banking entities provided financing to the extent of OMR2.8 billion as of the end of July 2017, compared with OMR2.1 billion a year ago. Total deposits held with Islamic banks and windows also registered a significant increase to OMR2.7 billion in July 2017, from OMR1.9 billion as of the end of July 2016. The total assets of Islamic banks and windows stood at OMR3.5 billion as of the end of July, constituting about 11.4 per cent of the banking system assets.
Inflation at 1.8 per cent Average annual inflation based on the Consumer Price Index in Oman during January-July period rose to 1.8 per cent, mainly due to a rise in transport costs, education, furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, tobacco and energy prices, said the Central Bank of Oman in its latest monthly report. The average price of Omani crude oil during the January to July period stood at $51.6. The persistent low oil prices accentuated pressure on the balance of payments and the current account balance witnessed a deficit of OMR4.7 billion during 2016 .