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Issue 1139 - 04 January 2022

New development company for Musandam

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The Musandam branch of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) has set up a new investment company to target the province (see map). OCCI branch chairman Raed Bin Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Shehhi told the local Muscat Daily that the Musandam International Investment Company will act as a source of investment for the province and will support projects across sectors including food security, contracting and building materials, fisheries and transport.

Oman
Issue 1139 - 23 December 2021

Shell signs up to produce gas from Block 10

Subscriber

A group led by Royal Dutch Shell has signed a concession agreement with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to develop and produce natural gas from the Saih Rawl gas field (Block 10) in Al-Wusta governate.

Oman
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After nearly a year of post-Qatar boycott rapprochement, Gulf Co-operation Council leaders stressed their unity at the 42nd GCC summit in Riyadh. The 14 December summit was marked by Saudi Arabia’s efforts to put more focus on the perceived threats from Iran.

Iran | Kuwait | Bahrain | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
Issue 1139 - 22 December 2021

Leaders missing from GCC summit

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Several leaders sent deputies to the 42nd Gulf Co-operation Council summit in Riyadh in mid-December, which nevertheless made progress in reuniting the regional bloc after several years of division. Poor health prevented some heads of state from attending but this was not the only reason.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Government revenues for the first ten months of 2021 were up 28% year-on-year to OR8.3bn ($21.6bn), while spending was broadly flat at OR9.3bn, according to Ministry of Finance data released in early December. The key factor was higher oil and gas prices with oil revenues up 35% compared to last year, to OR4.4bn, and gas revenues rising 51% to OR1.7bn.

Oman
Issue 1138 - 09 December 2021

Oman: PDO delivers YKP megaproject

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Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) on 6 December inaugurated the Yibal Khuff megaproject (YKP), which it described as “the most complex and second largest project in size in the company’s history”. Deputy prime minister for defence affairs Sayyid Shihab Bin Tarik Al-Said was at PDO’s Mina Al-Fahal headquarters it was a major step forward in hydrocarbons output.

Oman
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Sohar International Bank (SIB) has proposed a merger with Bank Nizwa, in the latest effort at consolidation in the banking sector. 

Oman
Issue 1137 - 25 November 2021

Oman: EDO prepares $1.5bn bond issue

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Energy Development Oman (EDO) is preparing to issue a second bond by June, following its maiden bond issue in August 2020, when the new state energy holding company raised $2.5bn.

Oman
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GSN Risk Grade: B↓3 Haitham in Qatar: Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said made a rare visit to another GCC country, with a trip to Qatar on 22-23 November. Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani hosted a lunch on his arrival and the two leaders held talks and witnessed the signing of six agreements covering cooperation on military affairs, taxation, labour, investment, tourism and transport.

Oman
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Crown Prince and culture, sports and youth minister Theyazin Bin Haitham Al-Said married his first cousin Sayyida Meyyan Bint Shihab Al-Said in a service at the Mazay Hall in Al-Alam Palace in Muscat on 11 November.

Oman
Subscriber

 The British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth II, returning with escorts from its deployment to the Far East, has conducted joint training exercises with the Royal Navy of Oman off the Batinah coast. As Exercise White Shark concluded on 4 November, deputy prime minister for defence affairs Sayyid Shihab Bin Tarik Al-Said visited the aircraft carrier and watched as F-35 aircraft were launched.

Oman
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Moody’s Investors Service has revised its outlook on the Oman sovereign from negative to stable, citing the “significant easing of government liquidity and external financing pressures” as a result of higher oil prices.

Oman
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Talks on reviving the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal are soon to restart, but key players in the region are deeply sceptical that a positive outcome can be negotiated. Hardliners in Tehran appear more confident, while GCC states are questioning the US commitment to the region and Israel is accelerating preparations for covert and overt conflict

Israel | Bahrain | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Oman | Qatar
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Challenged by years of drift even before Covid-19 had a heavy impact on its economy, Oman has sought to revitalise its hydrocarbons industries since Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said came to power. Institutions have been reconfigured and some big players continue to invest in gas, but overall the results are mixed.

Oman
Subscriber

Oman and the United Kingdom have set up a new joint training facility 70km south of Duqm at Ras Madrakah. The area offers challenging and varied terrain and can be used for amphibious beach landing exercises. The British Army plans to contribute armoured battlegroups to two joint exercises in the first year, with four such exercises annually.

Oman