Oman said to plan $1bn infrastructure fund

London - 

Oman’s sovereign wealth fund is planning to start a US$1bn infrastructure fund to boost investment in projects including the sultanate’s road, transport and energy systems, according to people familiar with the matter.

The State General Reserve Fund is talking to international banks and potential investors for the financing, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The projects in which the funds will be deployed have not been finalised, they said.

The country is turning to public-private partnerships to plug gaps in its infrastructure programme, which is being hindered by tighter government finances. Oman, like other states in the oil-rich six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, has been battered by a plunge in crude prices since mid-2014 that has caused budget deficits to swell and borrowing to surge.

Oman, the Middle East’s biggest non-OPEC oil producer, last week became the first developing nation to tap international capital markets this year by issuing US$6.5bn of five, ten and 30-year bonds.

Yields on the nation’s US$2.5bn of debts due in January 2028 have declined 22 basis points to 5.43 per cent by 9:47am in London Tuesday since being issued.

Oman’s Capital Market Authority introduced regulations for real estate investment funds at the start of this year in a bid to stimulate the property sector.


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