Muscat - Oman’s capital market helped companies to raise funds to the tune of RO1.8bn in 2018 despite having a challenging market environment, according to a report by the financial market watchdog, the Capital Market Authority (CMA).

‘Financial data indicate the role the capital market sector plays as a source of financing by providing RO1.8bn in 2018,’ the CMA said in its annual report for 2018, which is available on its website.

As per the CMA, the size of the funds raised in 2018 demonstrates the ability of Oman’s capital market to pool savings from various sectors and direct these pooled resources towards financing a number of projects.

‘In the same period, the total value of the issued corporate bonds and Sukuk was RO277.4mn,’ according to the report.

It also highlighted the fact that during the year under consideration, the total size of the sultanate’s capital market also rose by 1.26 per cent to RO1.8bn compared to RO17.95bn in the previous year.

While calculating the total size of market, the authority has taken into account the proceeds of the regular market, parallel market, and follow up report market along with bonds and Sukuk market, which all together represent 57 per cent of the total volume of the capital market in Oman. Closed joint stock companies listed on the market account for the remaining 43 per cent of the total volume of the capital market, the report revealed.

Another import factor highlighted in the report was that last year witnessed a decline in the foreign holdings of listed public joint stock companies. The share of foreign ownership declined from 28.07 per cent at the end of 2017 to 26.08 per cent in 2018.

Last year also remains important due to a number of new legislations brought by the CMA to boost liquidity in the market, and in 2019, the CMA will continue to work on new legislations to push the growth of the market.

“The CMA will continue its works to enhance the laws and regulations in a manner commensurate with the realities of the market in order to upgrade the standards of performance of the capital market and insurance sector and to increase their contribution to the GDP of the sultanate, as well as endeavouring to bolster the levels of compliance, transparency, integrity and fairness to provide greater protection to investors in particular and the participants in general,” the report quoted H E Abdullah bin Salim al Salmi, executive president of the CMA.

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