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RIYADH: The total foreign assets of the Central Bank of Oman increased 27.4 percent year on year to 6.86 billion Omani riyals ($17.82 billion) by the end of July, according to its statistics authority. 

The National Center for Statistics and Information also reported an annual increase of 4.9 percent in local liquidity by the end of July. 

While reporting the figures, Oman News Agency found that private sector deposits in commercial banks and Islamic windows were 18.17 billion riyals by the end of July, up 6.5 percent compared to the year-ago period. 

An Islamic window is a section of a conventional bank offering Shariah-compatible products and services. 

The state-run agency further reported that total loans and financing in commercial banks and Islamic windows grew 8.7 percent year on year to 30.27 billion riyals. 

On Sunday, S&P Global Ratings upgraded Oman’s long-term credit rating from “BB” to “BB+.” 

The report by S&P Global underscores a transformation in Oman’s non-oil sector, which promises substantial growth in the years ahead, particularly between 2023 and 2026. 

“Oman’s economy depends on the oil sector, which accounts for about 30 percent of GDP (gross domestic product), 60 percent of goods exports, and 70 percent of government fiscal receipts. This dependence weighs on our assessment of its fiscal and external resilience, and we reflect this in the rating,” said S&P Global in the report. 

The report also touched upon the banking sector, which witnessed a marked boost in credit balance, registering a growth of 5.3 percent in July compared to the same month the previous year.  

Meanwhile, in September, NCSI data revealed that Oman’s gross domestic product registered a 9.5 percent decline in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year, driven by a decrease in oil activities. 

GDP at current prices fell to 10.08 billion rials in the second quarter compared to the 11.14 billion rials recorded during the same period of the previous year. 

Moreover, the GDP at current prices for the first half of 2023 experienced a 2.4 percent decline, reaching 20.39 billion rials compared to the same period last year. 

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