Muscat: The total foreign investments in the Sultanate reached OMR19.96 billion by the end of 2018, up by 12.1 per cent, compared to OMR17.80 billion in 2017, according to the latest data issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The latest data show that the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Sultanate at the end of 2018 represented 63.6 per cent of the total foreign investment while the other foreign investments, which include commercial credits, loans and deposits, represented 32.6 per cent of the total foreign investments. The foreign investments in the Sultanate’s portfolios accounted for 3.7 per cent of the total foreign investments and only 0.1 per cent of financial derivatives. The total foreign investment inflows in 2018 reached OMR2.16 billion compared to OMR2.38 billion in 2017.
The data point out that the oil and gas sector recorded 48.8 per cent of the total foreign investments in the Sultanate in 2018, reaching OMR9,736.6 million compared to OMR7,159.0 million in 2017 and OMR5,267.2 million in 2016.
The financial brokerage and intermediation sector in Oman ranked second, recording 25.1 per cent of the total foreign investments in 2018, followed by the manufacturing industries sector with 14.1 per cent and the transport, storage and communications sector with 3.9 per cent of the total foreign investments.
The value of the foreign direct investment in 2018, which reflects a long-term relationship and a permanent interest in an entity that relates to another economy rather than the investor's economy, reached OMR12.69 billion, up by 19 per cent, compared to OMR10.66 billion in 2017.
The data also show that the oil and gas extraction sector represented 67.3 per cent of the total foreign direct investment in 2018, reaching OMR8.54 billion, followed by the financial intermediation and manufacturing industries sectors, by 11.4 per cent and 9.1 per cent, respectively, of the total direct foreign investment.
According to the same data of NCSI, nine countries contributed to 86.9 per cent of the total foreign direct investment in the Sultanate in 2018, with the United Kingdom (UK) ranking first with total investments reaching OMR6.62 billion, followed by the United States of America (USA) with OMR1.55 billion, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with OMR1.03 billion. The total direct investments of the State of Kuwait reached OMR387.100 million; the investments of the Kingdom of Bahrain reached OMR362.600 million, and that of the State of Qatar reached OMR327.500 million.
According to the data, the income paid by foreign investment enterprises in 2018, including profits, proceeds from reinvestment and interest, reached OMR1.13 billion, recording an increase of 11.9 per cent, compared to OMR1.02 billion in 2017.
The amount of interest paid to direct investors increased from OMR735.100 million in 2017 to OMR817.300 million in 2018 while the value of reinvested proceeds increased by 16.8 per cent and income paid to other investment also increased by 56.7 per cent in 2018 to reach OMR192.800 million.
The size of the labour force in foreign direct investment enterprises in 2018 decreased by 4.6 per cent, compared to 2017, as the total number of the labour force in foreign investment enterprises reached 253,950 labourers. Out of this, 91,184 labourers are Omanis while the number of non-Omanis reached 162,766. This decrease was attributed to the decrease in the number of manpower in the construction sector by 11.6 per cent.
Total wages and salaries in foreign investment enterprises in 2018 decreased by 1 per cent compared to 2017, reaching OMR2.33 billion, as the salaries and wages of Omanis decreased by 1.4 per cent, recording OMR1.23 billion while the salaries and wages of expatriates decreased by 3.6 per cent, recording OMR1.09 billion.
Oil and Gas and construction activities collectively received about 39.7 per cent of total salaries and wages in 2018 while salaries and wages in the oil and gas activity represented 23.3 per cent, and those in construction activity represented 16.4 per cent of the total wages and salaries.
The foreign Omani investment registered an increase of 5.4 per cent at the end of 2018 to reach OMR6.81 billion compared to OMR6.06 billion in 2017.
Other types of Omani investment included commercial credit, deposits and loans that represented the highest percentage, equivalent to 42.4 per cent of the total Omani investments abroad in 2018 while direct Omani investment and investment in portfolios accounted for 27.4 per cent and 30 per cent of the total Omani investments abroad, respectively.
The Omani direct investment increased by 0.8 per cent in 2018, compared to 2017. This increase is attributed to the increase in the investment of the oil and gas extraction sector by 0.5 per cent, and real estate sector, leasing and commercial project activities by 0.2 per cent during 2018 compared to 2017.
The total income from Omani investment abroad reached OMR118.300 million in 2018, which is a decrease by 3.7 per cent compared to 2017 while the income from direct investments decreased by 3 per cent, as well the income from other investments decreased by 4.6 per cent.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is considered the most important destination for Omani direct investment abroad at the end of 2018, reaching OMR423.100 million, representing 22.7 per cent of the total Omani direct investment abroad, followed by Kuwait with 9.3 per cent, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) by 4.9 per cent and the Republic of India by 2.2 per cent.