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Oman to regain its investment-grade rating in 2024: StanChart

17 Jan 2024 Oman to regain its investment-grade rating in 2024: StanChart By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – In its Global Focus 2024 report, Standard Chartered has forecast Oman’s continued improvements in fiscal performance, deleveraging and commitment to reform could enable the sultanate regain its investment-grade rating as early as this year.

This comes against a backdrop of a marginally slower growth projection for global GDP at 2.9%, a result of the most aggressive cycle of monetary tightening in years, the report said. 

The Standard Chartered report also stated that policymaking in Oman will likely focus on pro-growth structural reforms to improve the business environment, attract foreign direct investment and execute initial public offerings, which should help stimulate investment and consumption while avoiding further disinflationary risk.

Standard Chartered also projects Oman’s public debt will fall to 34% of GDP by the end of 2024 on sustained twin surpluses. 

The bank sees growth in the non-oil sector,  picking up to 2.5% in 2024, driven by sectors such as tourism, manufacturing and trade, whilst overall economic growth is expected to be slow with subdued inflation.

Hussain al Yafai, CEO of Standard Chartered Oman, said,  “We expect the sultanate to continue to demonstrate resilience in the face of global uncertainties and project a positive credit rating trajectory in 2024 as a result of its strong fiscal performance and reform efforts.”

The sultanate has successfully achieved remarkable turnaround in its fiscal situation, despite global economic challenges over the past three years. Consequently, all three major global credit rating agencies – Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch – upgraded Oman’s sovereign credit ratings in 2023.

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