Oman Investment Authority Plans Extensive IPOs to Elevate Capital Market Status
Oman's sovereign wealth fund, the Oman Investment Authority (OIA), is gearing up to launch a series of initial public offerings (IPOs) and list state assets, according to a report by Bloomberg on Thursday (14/12).
The Oman Investment Authority envisions the introduction of "several dozen" listings over the next five years, with approximately 30 assets slated for IPOs.
This initiative aims to position the sultanate for the coveted emerging-market status on its local bourse, a significant leap from its current "frontier market" classification, as outlined in the Bloomberg report.
To achieve this transition, Oman is actively seeking to elevate the status of its stock exchange, with Thuraiya Ahmed Al Balushi, the wealth fund's manager for economic diversification, emphasizing the potential for substantial deals in the energy and logistics sectors.
Al Balushi suggested that these deals could surpass the recent IPO of Omani state energy company OQ Gas Networks SAOG, which successfully raised approximately $749 million.
"OIA aims to enhance private-sector participation to deepen the capital market, paving the way for an upgrade by MSCI from frontier to emerging-market status," stated Al Balushi in an interview with Bloomberg.
Notably, the sultanate and Bahrain currently stand as the only two countries in the Gulf region without the coveted "emerging market" status assigned by MSCI.
Oman's ambitious plans follow the landmark share offering by OQ in October, marking the most substantial IPO since the 2010 listing of telecom firm Nawras, now known as Ooredoo Oman.