The outstanding market value of the bonds and Sukuk segment of the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) grew a commendable 32 per cent to RO2.63bn at the end of 2017, up from RO1.99bn in 2016, according to the Executive President of the Capital Market Authority (CMA). Shaikh Abdullah bin Salim al Salmi attributed the strong growth trend — averaging 45 per cent annually over the last five years — to initiatives introduced by the CMA over the past several years aimed at facilitating the development of a vibrant fixed income market in the Sultanate.
Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the GBSA Oman Debt Capital Market Conference, Al Salmi underlined the importance of a dynamic fixed income market to the development, financial stability, and diversification of the local economy. “This is also an integral part of the overall strategy of the CMA, to enable the capital market to play its vital role, as an alternative fundraising platform for both the government and the corporates and to act as the engine for continuous economic development of Oman — which is in tandem with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos vision to develop, and diversify the overall financial market, and the national economy at large,” he said.
The day-long conference, which was held at the Grand Millennium Hotel Muscat, was organised by the Gulf Bond and Sukuk Association (GBSA) with the support of Maisarah — the Islamic banking window of Bank Dhofar. The burgeoning growth and size of the bonds and Sukuk market are evidence of the efforts of the authority in putting in place the required building blocks necessary to facilitate the development of “an effective and dynamic fixed income market in Oman”, said the official. Significantly, the total outstanding market value of the bonds and Sukuk market on the MSM of RO2.63bn in 2017, represents about 15 per cent of the total market capitalisation of the MSM of RO17.95bn, Al Salmi said.
The local market is also witnessing the issuance of a diverse variety of fixed income instruments, he added. The list includes conventional bonds (both corporate and the Government Development Bonds), perpetual bonds (both by banks and non-banks), standalone corporate Sukuk, Sukuk programmes, dual currency corporate Sukuk, local currency Omani Rial sovereign Sukuk and US dollar currency sovereign Sukuk.