Oman shaking things up financially, on the ground, in the skies

Oman Air revamping fleet with Boeing 737 MAXs
Oman shaking things up financially, on the ground, in the skies
Oman's modernization drive brings changes to finance and aviation

Oman is making significant strides in shaking up its financial and aviation sectors. In recent years, the country has implemented a series of reforms aimed at diversifying its economy, boosting private sector growth, and attracting foreign investment. At the same time, Oman’s aviation industry is also undergoing a transformation, with new airports and airlines entering the market and existing players expanding their services. Together, these developments are positioning Oman as a dynamic and forward-looking player in the region’s economy and aviation landscape.

Read more: Invest in Oman: $3.8 bn opportunities across key sectors

In light of the above, the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) successfully raised 44 million Omani riyals (OMR) through the allotment of treasury bills. Of this amount, OMR24 million worth of bills were allotted with a maturity period of 28 days. The average accepted price for every OMR100 was OMR99.638, and the minimum accepted price was OMR99.635. The average discount rate and yield for these bills were 4.71458% and 4.73170%, respectively.

The remaining OMR20 million worth of bills had a maturity period of 91 days. The average accepted price for every OMR100 was OMR98.746, and the minimum accepted price was OMR89.745. The average discount rate and yield for these bills were 5.02978% and 5.09366%, respectively.

On the other hand, prior to the recent rejection of the proposed merger with Al-Ahli Bank, documents submitted to the Muscat Stock Exchange revealed that Bank Dhofar, the second-largest bank in Oman, had expressed interest in merging with its smaller competitor, Ahli Bank. This merger could have led to the establishment of a new financial institution with assets estimated at nearly $20 billion. Bank Dhofar, which currently has assets worth over $11 billion, proposed the merger to Ahli Bank, which has assets valued at less than $8 billion. Ahli Bank, which has a significant stake held by Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank, announced that it would review Bank Dhofar’s offer.

Modernizing fleet

Moreover, as part of its drive to revitalize the aviation industry, Oman Air is in the process of renewing its narrowbody fleet. To this end, the airline has announced that it will retire all of its five Boeing 737-900ERs between next year and the fourth quarter of 2025. These aircraft were primarily used for short- and medium-haul flights, but they will soon be replaced by newer and more sophisticated Boeing 737 MAXs.

The five Boeing 737-900ERs scheduled for retirement are as follows:

  • A4O-BI, which is 8.5 years old
  • A4O-BK, which is 8.0 years old
  • A4O-BT, which is 7.5 years old
  • A4O-BY, which is 8.1 years old
  • A4O-BZ, which is 7.9 years old

This move by Oman Air underscores the country’s commitment to modernizing its aviation industry and providing passengers with a more comfortable and efficient travel experience.

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