MUSCAT: The total foreign investments in the Sultanate reached RO 13.61 billion by the end of 2013 compared to RO 13.62 billion recorded in 2012 a fall of 0.1 per cent, according to the latest data issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). The foreign investments, led by oil, gas and brokerage activities, achieved a paid income exceeding RO 1.8 billion and provided job opportunities for more than 242,000 workers including 87,000 Omanis. On the other hand, investments of the Omanis abroad exceeded RO 7 billion to generate an income of RO 169.4 million.
The Foreign Investment Statistics Bulletin from 2009 to 2013 issued by the NCSI indicated that the foreign direct investment in 2013 reached RO 6,688.4 million constituting 49.1 per cent of the total foreign investments with a growth rate of 4.6 per cent. The foreign investment in investment portfolios reached RO 813.3 million constituting 6 per cent of the total foreign investments with a growth rate of 62.1 per cent. On the other hand, investment in financial derivatives logged RO 59.3 million constituting 0.4 per cent only of the total foreign investments with a growth rate of 24.6 per cent.
The other foreign investments including the commercial credit, loans and deposits reached RO 6,049.2 million constituting 44.4 per cent of the total foreign investments with a growth rate of 9.1 per cent. The total paid income in the foreign investment enterprises in 2013 including the profits, reinvestment proceeds and interests reached RO 1,822.1 million. The reinvested proceeds decreased with 17 per cent at the end of 2013. The paid income of other investments also fell by 26.3 per cent during 2013 to reach RO 148 million.
The number of labourers working in the foreign investment enterprises in 2013 increased by 5.4 per cent compared to 2012. The total labourers working in the foreign investment enterprises reached 242,384 including 87,789 Omanis while the non-Omanis stood at 154,595.
The number of Omanis working in the foreign investment enterprises rose by 6.4 per cent in 2013 compared to a 4.9 per cent increase of the expatriates who constitute 63.8 per cent of the total working in the foreign investment enterprises.
The total salaries and wages in the foreign investment enterprises also increased in 2013 by 3.3 per cent compared to the salaries and wages recorded in 2012 by logging RO 2,150.4 million.
The salaries and wages of the Omani workers increased by 9.6 per cent while the salaries and wages of the expatriate workers decreased by 2.2 per cent. The oil and gas and constructions sectors acquired 43.5 per cent of the total salaries in 2013.
The salaries and wages of the oil and gas sector constituted 25.5 per cent of the total salaries and wages compared to 18 per cent for the constructions sector.
The oil and gas sector acquired 32.5 per cent of the total foreign investments in 2013 while the brokerage sector excluding the investment funds, development banks and retirement funds came in the second place of the foreign investment activities by acquiring 27.2 per cent.
The United Kingdom (UK) is considered to be the main source of direct foreign investment with a value of RO 3,073.9 million, followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that recorded RO 1,176.0 million in 2013.
On the other hand, the volume of Omani investments abroad reached about RO 7,128.8 million in the end of 2013 compared to RO 6,129.6 million in 2012 with an increase of 16.3 per cent.
The other Omani investments including the (commercial credits, deposits and loans) constituted the highest percentage of the total Omani investments abroad during 2013 with 34.5 per cent while the direct Omani investment and the portfolios investments constituted 32.8 per cent and 32.1 per cent respectively.
The growth rate of the direct Omani investment increased also by 5.5 per cent in 2013 compared to the growth rate recorded in 2012. This increase is attributed to the growth in the brokerage sector’s investments with 19.9 per cent and the increase in the real estate and leasing activities sector; in addition to the commercial projects activities with 14 per cent during 2013 compared to 2012.
The total received income of the Omani investment abroad in 2013 reached about RO 169.4 million with an increase rate of 20.8 per cent compared to the figures recorded in 2012.
The received income of the direct investments increased with 1.7 per cent while the received rate of other investments increased with 6.9 per cent. The UAE constitutes the most important direct investment destinations abroad. It acquired Omani investments of about RO 496.6 million in 2013 constituting 21.3 per cent of the total Omani direct investments.
The UAE was followed by Saudi Arabia with 4.7 per cent and Bahrain with 2.2 per cent. The Omani direct investments have achieved the highest growth rate in 2013 with 9.1 per cent compared to the figures recorded in 2012. These investments reached RO 496.6 million in 2013 compared to RO 455.3 million in 2012.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER