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OIA assets up by RO1bn, profits grow to RO1.7bn

4 Jun 2024 OIA assets up by RO1bn, profits grow to RO1.7bn By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Oman Investment Authority (OIA) announced on Tuesday  that its assets have grown by over RO1bn to a total of RO19.240bn.

Additionally, OIA saw its profits exceed RO1.7bn, earning 9.95% in investment returns compared to 8.8% last year.

The authority continued its contribution to the State General Budget totalling more than RO6bn between 2016 and 2023.

OIA and its companies also created over 1,300 job opportunities for Omanis, the authority stated in its 2023 annual report – the third since its establishment on June 4, 2020 – released on Tuesday.

The report reflects the principles and national goals of Oman Vision 2040, focusing on enhancing transparency, governance and institutional performance.

Abdulsalam al Murshidi, President of OIA, stated that high praise received from His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik serves as a starting point and motivation to continue growing and achieving success. “These milestones were achieved despite global economic fluctuations and escalating geopolitical tensions, tightening monetary policies by major central banks, banking sector turmoil in the US and Europe, the US debt ceiling controversy, the Ukraine-Russia war, and impacts of  Gaza events.”

OIA focused on diversifying its foreign and local investments geographically and across various sectors to maximise returns and minimise risks. It also brought an Omani angle in its international investments to attract value and technology to targeted sectors.

OIA’s Future Generations Fund (FGF) is responsible for its investments abroad. In 2023, it invested in 13 global funds operating in the private sector. It also engaged in diversified direct investments in the private sector in countries worldwide, achieving an average return of 9.8%, surpassing the target return of 5%.

Among OIA’s direct foreign investments is Electric Hydrogen (EH2), a company developing electrolysers of higher current densities and lower voltages; Hysata, an Australian company contributing to the production of green hydrogen; and Our Next Energy (ONE), a US company specialising in manufacture of vehicle batteries, electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

Continuing efforts to reduce debt and mitigate financial risks of its companies, OIA paid RO2.4bn, including RO300mn prepaid in 2023. These efforts contributed to raising Oman’s credit rating by international rating agencies.

As part of its commitment to achieving economic diversification, investments of  National Development Fund (NDF) in local sectors increased approximately RO2.1bn, surpassing the target of RO1.9bn.

OIA and its companies continued efforts to maximise in-country value (ICV) and enhance the role of SMEs. The total spend on SMEs was RO202.6mn, with RO106.7mn going to holders of the Entrepreneurship Card.

OIA to divest from five firms

Nasser Sulaiman al Harthy, Deputy President of Operations at OIA, informed that the authority is targeting divestment in five of its affiliated firms this year, three of which are in the energy sector, one in logistics and one in services.

OIA and its companies successfully completed nine divestments in 2023, exceeding the planned eight. These included both direct sales and public offerings on Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX), notably Abraaj Energy Services and OQ Gas Networks. This had a positive impact on trading volumes in MSX and attracted foreign investments.

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