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Review of Oman Banking and Monetary Developments.

Muscat, Feb 17 (ONA)--- Consistent with sustained recovery of the economy, banking and monetary indicators witnessed accelerated growth in 2011 over the previous year. According to the combined balance sheet of commercial banks, total assets increased by 17.5 percent to RO. 18,388 million in 2011 compared to RO. 15,647.7 million in the previous year. Cash on hand and deposits of commercial banks with the CBO stood lower at RO. 978.9 million at the end of December 2011 compared to RO. 1,520.3 million a year ago.

Total credit expanded by 16.7 percent to RO. 12,514.9 million in 2011 and accounted for 68.1 percent of total assets. Credit to Government declined by 31.2 percent in December 2011 reflecting revenue surplus arising out of higher realization of crude oil prices. Credit to public enterprises and the private sector increased by 58.4 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Commercial banks' overall investments in securities increased by 49.4 percent to RO. 2,198.7 million by December 2011 from RO. 1,471.4 million a year ago.

Of the total outstanding investments, commercial banks' investments in CBO CDs increased by 70.7 percent to RO. 1,372 million in December 2011 from RO. 804 million a year ago. Investments in government development bonds (GDBs) also increased by 39.9 percent to RO. 400.4 million in December 2011 compared to its level last year, reflecting new issues of five-year GDBs by the Ministry of Finance worth RO. 150 million. Investments in foreign securities increased by 33.1 percent to RO. 275.5 million from RO. 206.9 million during the same period.

On the liabilities side of the balance sheet, total deposits (Rial Omani plus foreign currency deposits) witnessed a year-on-year growth of 19.6 percent to RO. 12,573.3 million in 2011 from RO. 10,516.8 million in the previous year. Government deposits with commercial banks increased by 46.9 percent to RO. 3,373.1 million while deposits of public enterprises increased by 13.4 percent to RO. 980.5 million during the same period. Private sector deposits with commercial banks increased by 11 percent to RO. 8,031.3 million in 2011 from RO. 7,236.9 million in the previous year.

The provisional figure for net profits of commercial banks (domestic operations) stood higher at RO. 262.3 million at the end of December 2011 compared to RO. 247.7 million a year ago.