Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Muscat – Oman Investment Authority (OIA), the investment arm of the sultanate, grew its total assets to nearly RO18bn at the end of 2022 after realising an 8.8% return on investments during the year. OIA attributes this to its focus on investment diversification and risk mitigation.

On Wednesday, OIA published its annual report, providing valuable insights into the authority’s performance and achievements during 2022. In his opening message in the report, H E Sultan al Habsi, Minister of Finance and Chairman of OIA said the authority approached all circumstances and challenges in 2022 prudently. OIA, he said, developed strategies in line with future economic analyses and expectations, with an emphasis on diversifying investments and mitigating risks.

OIA continued its support of the state’s general budget with dividends amounting to RO5.6bn from 2016 till the end of 2022. Additionally, the report showcased OIA’s commitment to creating opportunities for nationals, with over 800 jobs created in the authority and its companies for Omanis last year.

H E Habsi stated that the economic conditions are not an obstacle to OIA’s efforts to promote economic development and achieve financial sustainability in the Sultanate. Through its investments spread across more than 50 countries, OIA managed good returns on investment and rewarded profits.

“This includes the Future Generations Fund; with investments in public and private markets, the fund realised a relatively better financial performance compared to a number of global sovereign funds. Meanwhile, the National Development Portfolio, which includes more than 160 companies in the Sultanate, earned total profits of over RO1.4bn,” H E Habsi stated.

In his foreword to the report, H E Abdulsalam al Murshidi, President of OIA, stressed that the authority addressed the events and economic conditions of 2022 through balanced plans and prudent investment decisions in line with local and global changes. “As a result, OIA realised good performance and productivity outcomes and expanded its investments,” he said.

Nationally, OIA companies launched ten national projects across governorates in targeted sectors that have the potential to contribute to the desired economic stimulus.

Internationally, OIA invested in Group-14, a leading company that manufactures silicon anode car batteries; Crusoe Energy, which has developed an innovative technology to capture flare gas emissions for the generation of clean energy; and Ascend Elements, a company that has developed an innovative technology to recycle lithium-ion batteries.

OIA also invested in 13 private equity funds in Europe, Asia and North America.
The authority aims to utilise the returns from these divestments by directing them to investments in new sectors.

The report also delved into the positive impacts of the Code of Governance for OIA entities, published at the beginning of 2022. It helped companies improve outcomes, enhance performance, generate profits and enhance efforts toward reducing debts. OIA stated that its companies reduced debt by 23.4% as a result of a structured plan that targeted the payment of RO3bn, including the prepayment of RO600mn.

The report also highlighted OIA’s positive efforts in attracting foreign investments to its mandates.

Divestment plan

The OIA annual report sheds light on its divestment plan, which aims to enable the private sector to lead the Omani economy and enhance its contribution to economic development. OIA’s divestment activities in 2022 saw the listing of Pearl REIF, the first real estate investment fund on Muscat Stock Exchange, divesting from International Maritime College Oman, and preparing six assets in different sectors for divestment in 2023.

OIA aims to utilise the returns from these divestments by directing them to investments in new sectors. The report also delved into the positive impacts of the Code of Governance for OIA entities, published at the beginning of 2022. It helped companies improve outcomes, enhance performance, generate profits and enhance efforts toward reducing debts. OIA stated that its companies reduced debt by 23.4% as a result of a structured plan that targeted the payment of RO3bn, including the prepayment of RO600mn.

Attracting foreign investment

The report also highlighted OIA’s positive efforts in attracting foreign investments to its mandates. The authority signed agreements with its Saudi counterpart – Public Investment Fund or PIF – on investment opportunities in projects to the value of RO4.5bn. This includes the completion of Phase II of the Yiti Project and the Rakiza Fund. In addition, OIA signed agreements for investments with the UAE, which include the Oman-Etihad Rail Company and the increasing capital of Oman Technology Fund (OTF).

The report indicated that OIA and its companies follow the government’s directives regarding enhancing local content by maximising in-country value efforts. In this regard, 4,700 SMEs were awarded contracts and tenders worth around RO190mn, representing 10.9% of the total spending on the supply chain in OIA and its companies, of which Riyada holders constituted 3.9%.

The report reflects the extraordinary attention OIA pays to recruiting and developing national competencies; the number of employees at the authority and its companies exceeded 38,000 with an Omanisation rate of 78%. More than 1,700 jobs out of 4,000 have been identified for potential Omanisation within the next five years.

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