Muscat – The government is planning to privatise more than 30 public companies by 2025, H E Abdul Salam bin Muhammad al Murshidi, chairman of Oman Investment Authority (OIA), has said.
“The authority owns about 160 government companies. Privatisation is a successful process. The government must hand over the economy to the private sector, because its role remains to regulate and set policies,” he said in a radio interview.
OIA set a target to privatise more than 30 affiliated companies in five years (2021 to 2025). “These companies can be transformed into private companies listed on the Muscat Stock Exchange, and be owned by Omani citizens – businesses and investors.”
According to H E Murshidi, OIA supported the state budget with more than RO1bn, “which are profits, not from the sale of assets”. He stressed that the financial results of the companies are good; some of these have returned to profits from making losses.
OIA is currently focusing on attracting foreign investment in select sectors, which will help in transferring expertise and technology to the sultanate, besides attracting foreign capital.
On the pandemic and its impact on government companies, he said, “Within its companies, the authority has launched several initiatives to rationalise consumption and coordination between these for optimal performance. The authority has prepared a plan to help financially distressed companies.”