MSX30 Index ended the week lower by 0.94 per cent. All sub-indices ended lower. The Services Index fell 0.85 per cent, followed by the Financial Index that fell by 0.45 per cent and industrial Index that dropped by 0.09 per cent. MSX Shariah Index closed lower by 0.88 per cent.

During the week, Oman National Engineering & Investment Co announced that it has been awarded a contract from Al Hadeetha Resources LLC valued at RO 1.138 million.

A Royal Directive was issued to stabilise vehicle fuel prices in Oman in accordance with the rates of October 2021 as a maximum ceiling. The government will bear the loss from the differences in oil prices till the end of 2022, the directive said. The fuel prices for the month of October were 229 baisas/litre for M91; 239 baisas/litre for M95; and 258 baisas/litre for diesel.

Oman Chlorine announced that it has commenced commercial production of its Caustic Soda Plant Expansion project, which will contribute additional 30 metric tons per day to its daily production. With this expansion the capacity of the plant will be 75 metric tons per day.

Oman chlorine announced signing a non-binding letter with Basic Chemical Industries KSA. A regional alliance and a commercial strategic partnership including investment into one of the subsidiaries Union Chlorine LLC based in the UAE. Oman Chlorine also didn’t reach a deal on divestiture of 9 per cent stake in Union Chlorine (as disclosed on July 14, 2021 about a non-binding letter of intent signed with Basic Chemical Industries Company) Oman Cement Company (OCC) launched an oil-well cement strength testing equipment, which is considered the most advanced instrument in the Sultanate of Oman used for measuring the quality of cement. The testing equipment simulates the high pressure and heat conditions prevalent in oil wells to test quality. Through this move, OCC aims to develop the quality measurement of oilfield cement produced by the company to fulfil the demand in Oman and abroad.

The total number of vehicles registered in the Sultanate totaled 1.547mn in September 2021, representing a small decline over the December 2020 registered vehicles at 1.557mn, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information. Private vehicles topped the list of vehicles registered at 1.226mn, followed by 0.232mn commercial vehicles and 28,758 taxis. The number of vehicles with temporary registration reached 10,664 compared to 15,351 vehicles in December 2020.

Latest CBO data for conventional banks indicates that the weighted average Oman Rial interest rate spread (calculated as lending rate minus deposit rate) contracted by 11.6bps on year-on year basis (YoY), at 3.423 per cent during the month of Aug'21, as the deposit rate grew by 3.4bpsYoYand lending rate contracted by 8.2 bpsYoY. On month-on-month (MoM) basis, the spread dropped by 16.8bps as deposit rate increased by 5.6bps while lending rate dropped by 11.2bps.

The weighted average deposit rate on Oman Rial deposits at 1.977 per cent is still below the local peak of 2.011 per cent witnessed in Feb'21. The Oman Rial spread is down about 7.4bps on year-to-date (YTD) basis. Weighted average FCY spread reained flat on month-on-month (MoM) basis during Aug'21 at 1.98 per cent. The FCY spread is lower by about 16bps when compared to that recorded in Aug'20. The spread is up 10.8bps since Dec'20. Weighted average interest rate on private sector Oman Rial time deposits dropped by 2.6bpsMoM and 3.2bps YoY, somewhat steady at 4.0 per cent (down 3.6bps on YTD basis). Weighted average interest rate on all private sector deposits (Oman Rial ) was 1.46 per cent (flat MoM and YoY), but down 3.7bps on YTD basis. [Courtesy: U-Capital]

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