Speaking to reporters at a press conference at Sheraton Oman Hotel, José Viñals, group chairman of Standard Chartered said that one of the most important things that Oman as a country has done extremely well is ‘the good use of money’.
He said, “We, as a bank, were involved in various project finances along with the government and other key players for many years. And in the past three-four years, we have signed deals worth over US$30bn.”
Explaining more about the bank’s activities in Oman, Hussain Ghalib al Yafai, incoming CEO of Standard Chartered in Oman said, “For the past few years, we have been involved in a number of fund raising activities done by the Ministry of Finance. We were involved in all the capital market issuances, and also in all the strategic transactions related to the government or government-owned companies for various projects including independent water projects and independent power projects. So if you have to put a number on it, then it is surely in north of US$30bn.”
Viñals, however, clarified that some of the projects for which deals have been signed are still ongoing and it doesn’t necessarily mean that Standard Chartered has already put US$30bn in the country.
Speaking about future projects, Viñals said Standard Chartered is the only international bank, which is so closely involved in China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) project. He clarified that Standard Chartered is currently not financing any OBOR project in Oman though they are financing some related projects in the neighbouring countries.
“I believe OBOR is going to be immensely beneficial for Oman in the future. We are already seeing a number of projects related to it being developed in the country,” Viñals added.
Yafai added that Standard Chartered in Oman will be mostly focusing in providing financing to the government, corporates and SMEs in the country.