Oman central bank eases capital, lending curbs in bid to spur growth

DUBAI: Oman’s central bank said on Tuesday it is relaxing capital and credit exposure rules for commercial banks and taking other steps to boost lending in a bid to boost economic growth.

The Omani economy and financial markets have come under pressure from low oil prices and rising US interest rates, which are closely linked to rial rates, so authorities are keen to keep banks liquid and to encourage them to lend.

The capital adequacy ratio, the proportion of capital that banks must hold back from lending, was reduced to 11 per cent from 12 per cent. This is expected to increase the volume of additional credit available to 7.8 billion rials (Dh74.5 billion or $20.3 billion) from 5.2 billion rials, the central bank said.

Among other steps, banks will be able to count deposits obtained from other local banks towards their own deposit bases.