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Oman announces $20 bn extra liquidity amid Covid-19 outbreak

Oman liquidity

Oman’s central bank asked local banks to cut banking fees, adjust capital and credit ratios, and allow repayment postponements up to six months for SMEs

The Central Bank of Oman has announced that it will provide around $20 billion in extra liquidity to banks, the media reported.

The extra liquidity is to help Oman’s economy fight the global slowdown caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Besides announcing extra liquidity, the Central Bank of Oman has also asked local banks to cut banking fees, adjust capital and credit ratios, and allow repayment postponements for up to six months, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

It also asked the banks to facilitate lending to parties operating in the healthcare and travel and tourism sectors.

The apex bank also lowered the Capital Conservation Buffers (CCB) by 50 percent from 2.5 percent to 1.25 percent, increasing the Lending Ratio/ Financing Ratio by 5 percent from 87.5 percent to 92.5 percent.

So far, the Covid-19 pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has severely affected the global tourism, aviation, trade, and logistics sectors.

Reportedly, Oman’s ministry of finance has also cut around 5 percent of the budget allocated to the government sector in 2020.

The government in Oman has also called for a total shutdown of restaurants and shops (except the one providing consumer items, clinics, pharmacies and opticians items).

The government has also ordered the suspension of all gatherings, activities, and conferences and closed all tourist sites including beaches, parks, wadis, mountains, sands, waterfalls and water springs. The country has also limited entry into the country through air, water or land. It has also restricted all public transport in the kingdom which includes buses, ferries, taxis, vans, and microbuses.

So far, around 39 people have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus in Oman.

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