MUSCAT, Sept 22 Oman's finance ministry has
begun transferring stakes it owns in listed and private
companies to other state-owned corporates and sovereign funds,
the country's undersecretary of finance said on Thursday, a move
that could pave the way for them to be privatised in the future.
Oman has already outlined plans to sell off state assets as
it seeks to cope with a budget shortfall in the wake of lower
The aim is to move the stakes to new owners that are more of
a natural fit. The ministry's stake in Salalah Port Services Co.
, for example, was transferred earlier this month to
Oman Global Logistics Group, which has interests in transport
and support services.
Nasser al-Jashmi said the transfer of stakes from the
government level was aimed at making their operations more
efficient and also to improve the management of the companies.
"We are transferring logistics-related assets, and the same
applies to other sectors," Jashmi said, noting sector-specific
owners could manage them in a synchronised way which coordinated
with industry strategies.
Notifications to the Muscat Securities Market this week
showed the Ministry of Finance transferred its stakes in Oman
and Emirates Investment Holding Co. and Port Services
Corporation to the Oman Investment Fund. The bourse
filings gave no further details.
Jashmi declined to elaborate on what other assets would be
sold or the size of the total asset transfer plan. But he said
it would be up to the new owners to evaluate the assets and
restructure them if needed.
Oman has more than 60 state-owned companies, while the
government also holds stakes in many listed firms.
(Reporting by Fatma Al Arimi; Writing by David French. Editing
by Jane Merriman)