The Oman Investment Authority is driving a shake-up of the country’s state-dominated industries, increasing supervision of the operations of government-run businesses, and launching a privatization programme to raise money and strengthen the local stock exchange.
Oman 2040 is a development plan that aims to lower the hydrocarbon sector’s contribution to GDP from about 34% in 2019 to less than 10% by the year 2040. Oman Investment Authority was established in 2020 as a result of the merger of the State General Reserve Fund and Oman Investment Fund.
Oman Investment Authority shares its assets between the Futures Generations Fund and its National Development Portfolio (NDP). While the latter is primarily made up of foreign assets and comprises investments in both the public and private markets, the former owns shares in roughly 160 national assets and businesses.
Joice Mathew, United Securities head of research, said, “Ownership of these assets was scattered with varying levels of governance standards.”
“Oman Investment Authority is more forthcoming about its strategies, investments and divestments and in making public announcements. Oman Investment Authority has taken some good early steps, putting sector experts on the boards of the companies that it owns or invests in,” Joice Mathew added.
Domestically, Oman Investment Authority has interests in myriad sectors. It owns Oman’s state oil and gas producer OQ, Muscat Stock Exchange, bus manufacturer Karwa Motors, Oman Airports, Oman Air, Oman Development Bank, Oman Food Investment Holding Company, and Oman LNG among others.
Lo’ai Bataineh, chief executive of an Omani investment firm, said, “Oman Investment Authority brought all these assets together to manage them more professionally, reduce operational costs and become much more proactive.”