Oman

Mon, 11 June 2012

Oman’s wide-ranging plans to support its young population by creating jobs and building infrastructure are mapped out in a report now available by Oxford Business Group (OBG).
The Report: Oman 2012 provides in-depth analysis of the Sultanate’s efforts to drive growth in industry, especially manufacturing, by investing in its economic zones. It also charts the government’s decision to channel funds into projects for the younger generation such as training centres and sports

http://main.omanobserver.om/node/98566

I wish I had details about how big this economic stimulus plan is and what the projects are but Oxford Business Group wants tall cash for me to see it. However unlike Kuwait Oman seems to have no trouble getting investment. If the launch of their new bank is any indication.

 

Muscat, 21 Rajab/11June (IINA) -Oman’s Bank Nizwa yesterday rallied as much as 17 percent on its first trading day as a public company, amid expectations that the country’s first Islamic lender will benefit from a big untapped appetite for Shariah products. Bank Nizwa last month said it was looking to sell 600 million shares to raise $158.9 million from investors. Its initial public offering was 11 times oversubscribed, generating $1.77 billion of bids. Yesterday was its first trading day since the share sale.

Al Izz International Bank, another new Islamic entrant, is expected to launch a share sale of 40 per cent of its 100m rials capital this month, according to a statement released byOman’s central bank earlier this year.

http://iina.me/wp_en/?p=1008955

Facebook would kill for these numbers…now:)

 

Now in it’s sixth year, the GPI is made up of 23 indicators and ranks 158 countries. It gages the level of safety and security in society and also looks at the extent of domestic or international conflict.

The indicators range from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights. The index has been tested against a range of potential “drivers” or determinants of peace—including levels of democracy and transparency, education and national wellbeing.

 

The world has become more peaceful for the first time since 2009 according to the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) released today.

The top 5 fallers are SyriaEgyptTunisiaOman and Malawi. The Middle East is now amongst one of the least peaceful regions in the world, with the drop in rankings for the Arab countries refelecting the turbulence and instability created by the events of the Arab Spring.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jun/12/global-peace-index-2012

 

Oman is ranked 57 now, Kuwait at 47, Qatar at 13, United Arab Emirates 46 , Bahrain 114, Saudi Arabia 103,

Iran 124 ( not a gulf Monarchy I will be studying but useful as a comparison )      (United States at 86 not a gulf Monarchy I will be studying but useful as a comparison)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AonYZs4MzlZbdGVUUEE1UVpFX1dkLVgtZ2RLeVJzV3c#gid=1

Oman despite seemingly having a better business climate than Kuwait has its own labor problems and a big question of who will rule next their Sultan has no kids, no brothers is quite old and the royal family unlike the Saudis do not seem to run the government’s top posts the Sultan is prime minister and holds other key government portfolios including foreign affairs and defense. Their is no official heir to  the throne.

Whoever next leads Oman will face pressing demands to create tens of thousands of private sector jobs as the recent social measures have stretched the budget and there is simmering resentment about the around 800,000 expatriates with jobs there.

The population has been growing at around 3 percent a year, oil reserves, which provide nearly 70 percent of budget revenues, are shrinking and unemployment – at 24.4 percent in 2010 – is rising, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“The country has a growing, young and educated population with insufficient employment opportunities,” said Calvin Allen, Middle East expert at Shenandoah University in Virginia in the United States.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/May-24/174446-omani-succession-question-fuels-uncertainty-in-crucial-corner-of-gulf.ashx#axzz1xb4TMVdY

800,000 expatriates have jobs in a country of 2.8 million and unemployment of 24.4 as of 2010 with oil revenues shrinking and oil revenue providing 70% of budget revenue the country seems ripe for revolution.

I wish I had numbers for their economic stimulus plan if I knew how big their plan was and what they intended to invest in to stimulate their economy I could make a judgement on whether they survive. Investors are fools to invest in any country with these numbers is the Sultan serious about creating jobs or is he another Obama either powerless or lying about trying to create jobs?

Obviously Oman is pushing banking as part of their stimulus but given the American and EU experience with banks and the financial bubbles they create I don’t hold much hope for Oman.

Unless they invest serious money in well thought out and administered projects that make actual goods and services that people want not more bank ponzi schemes that banks want.