Oman is to lift restrictions on foreign ownership in companies listed on the stock exchange in a bid to boost investment from overseas.
According to a tweet, yesterday, by the Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX), the move will make the bourse "more attractive to international investors" and provide them with a more flexible environment for their investments.
#إلغاء_حدود_نسب_التملك_للاستثمار_الاجنبي سيمهد #للبورصة إجتياز معايير مؤسسات التقييم العالمية المتعلقة بسهولة الاستثمار والانفتاح على المستثمر الاجنبي وسيسهم بشكل فاعل في جاذبية البورصة للمستثمرين الدوليين وتوجههم نحو بيئة ذات سلاسة ومرونة بها كافة المقومات لتنمية استثماراتهم. pic.twitter.com/gEFAqbkHfC
— بورصة مسقط – عُمـان (@MSX_Oman) March 28, 2022
Earlier this month, the chief executive of the MSX, Haitham Al-Salmi, told CNBC Arabia that "We are working to fulfil all the requirements for listing the Muscat Stock Exchange in emerging market indices". The Sultanate plans to list 35 state-owned companies over the next five years, Al-Salmi added.
"The move has increased the percentage of investments available to foreigners by 78 per cent," he explained.
Earlier this month, in line with Oman's ambition to move away from an oil dependent economy, Sultan Haitham bin Tarik issued a royal decree to expand free zones in the country in order to attract foreign investment. There are free zones currently in Muscat, Salalah, Sohar and Duqm and the recent decree will see the establishment of free zones in three airports.
"The free zones will bring in huge economic benefits to the country," said Peter Hays, a former senior banker at Citigroup.
"Oman has some experience in economic zones and the Royal Decree will give more confidence to big players around the world to set up manufacturing units there, knowing that they will enjoy huge benefits," he added.