Oman Investment Authority (OIA) has informed that 2019 was the most successful year in its history in terms of investments. The authority posted average revenues of 9.5 per cent.
Responding to criticism in the media about OIA’s nature of work, the performance of its investments, its strategic decisions and the volume of loans of state-owned firms, the authority said in a statement that it handled investments that doubled the original value of money invested.
In addition, OIA entered into new investments in the fields of space, food technology and infrastructure, and enhanced its investment position in different markets including China, Japan and South Korea. The number of countries in which OIA has invested has risen to more than 25, according to the statement.
The OIA also enhanced the state’s general budget without affecting its own financial position and without being compelled to compromise on any of its assets.
The statement added that the authority has been able to take safe investment decisions, either by clearing some of its assets concurrently upon the shutting down of global firms associated with those assets. It has also safely exited investments that have vague, unorganised data or cancelled partnerships that constitute no positive results to minimise risk and spare the OIA possible losses. The authority localised some investments in the sultanate and re-channeled others into different sectors and new markets.
As for loans of state-owned companies, the statement said that borrowing is among normal business practices and that it is the least costly instrument of funding, notably at a time when companies are taking up new projects and expanding operations without consuming their capital or available liquidity, and without ledgering the burden of financing in disfavour of the state’s general finance.
The OIA reaffirmed its attention to the issue of loans of state-owned firms that became affiliated to it since June 2020 when as per Royal Decree No 61/2020 the authority was established.
The statement added that the OIA is laying down a comprehensive structure of governance for state-owned companies that covers all the firms’ operations (including loans) by devising policies that require companies to regulate borrowing and financing instruments for the purpose of cutting down the volume of those loans.
The OIA also underscored its commitment to apply the best practices of transparency in line with international standards of disclosure of sovereign wealth funds. All data related to the OIA’s operations are accessible either through its Annual Report or the authority’s website – www.oia.gov.om.
The OIA espouses a clearly defined policy of reporting offences codenamed ‘Whistleblowing Policy.’
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