The Central Bank of Oman introduced new funding requirement which was part of a series of other initiatives to boost small business units in line with the Royal Directives few years ago. (Image Credit: Times file)

Banks in Oman get extension to meet funding target of small units

Muscat: Oman’s commercial banks have been given a one-year extension to comply with a stipulation to provide a minimum of 5 per cent of their total commercial loan to small and medium enterprise (SMEs), according to a top-level official at the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).

The one-year extension, until December 2016, was due to requests from commercial banks as these institutions could not achieve that target last year.

“The banks could not achieve that target. We have extended it to the end of this year,” Hamoud Sangour Al Zadjali, executive president of the Central Bank of Oman, told the ‘Times of Oman’.

“The banks are working very hard to meet the target.” The new regulation is immensely helping 91,000 SMEs in the country.

Al Zadjali said that the demand for funds from small and medium enterprises is also not robust. “May be there are other funds helping the SMEs. The SMEs first take the advantage of government funds, which are available for them and then they approach banks,” added the CBO chief.

Several agencies, including Oman Development Bank and SME Development Fund, are providing the much-needed fund for setting up small business units...Read more...