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Two firms get Central Bank of Oman approval to raise stakes


The Central Bank of Oman board has approved an application of finance companies to allow them to extend finance for building warehouses. — Times file picture

Muscat: The board of Central Bank of Oman (CBO) on Tuesday approved a request from Oman International Development and Investment Company to increase its stake in National Finance Company from 24.22 per cent to 35 per cent.

The board also approved an application of Oman Hotels and Tourism to raise its holding in United Finance Company from 20.44 per cent to 35 per cent.  Further, the CBO board approved an application of finance companies to allow them to extend finance for building warehouses.

These decisions were taken by the board, which met under the chairmanship of Dr Ali bin Mohammed bin Moosa, deputy chairman of CBO's board of governors.

The meeting also reviewed the actions taken by the Central Bank of Oman and commercial banks operating in Oman with regard to the financing of small and medium enterprises.

Lending to SMEs
CBO last year stipulated commercial banks to extend a minimum of five per cent of their commercial lending to small and medium enterprises, which is against the normal average of little higher than two per cent.

Besides, the board reviewed the Bank Deposit Insurance Scheme (BDIS) annual report for the year 2013 and the Central Bank of Oman annual financial report for last year.

The board members also discussed on the recommendations included in the report of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank mission on Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP). The meeting also directed CBO's executive management to follow up the implementation of the said recommendation as far as possible. The board also reviewed the CBO's financial position as at the end of April 2014 and the performance of the central bank's external investments during the period under review.

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