Oman’s struggling rental market likely to fall further with new expat visa restrictions: Reports

A view of a port in Muscat, Oman. (Shutterstock)
Updated 31 January 2018
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Oman’s struggling rental market likely to fall further with new expat visa restrictions: Reports

DUBAI: Rents in Oman are expected to fall again in 2018, according to property experts, following the announcement of new visa rules that ban expat workers from specific professions, coupled with an oversupply of properties, national daily Times of Oman reported.
“There is an effect due to the new expat laws. With fewer expats coming, there will be fewer people renting houses, so the market will go down this year. I think the only way is to allow more freedom for expats,”Ammar Al-Safar, rental in-charge at the Al Qandeel Real Estate told the paper.
“Once they come in, they have to rent a house, buy a car, bring their family and send their children to school. All of this is a boost to the economy and without it, the real estate sector will go down,” Al-Safar added.
International real estate companies reported that the market in Oman was struggling, with UK-based Cluttons showing that rents in the country hit an all-time low in 2017 — and prices are expected to fall further due to the new expat restriction laws.
The Cluttons report shows that the market fell by 25 percent on average in 2017, but in some parts of the region around the capital, Muscat dropping more that 50 percent.


SoftBank mobile unit to go for $21bn IPO

Updated 13 November 2018
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SoftBank mobile unit to go for $21bn IPO

  • The IPO will be one of the biggest ever worldwide, and will provide the group with funds to pay down debt and continue placing big bets on innovations
  • SoftBank’s bets so far have been as varied as small gaming startups, ride-hailing firms such as Uber Technologies, and e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding

TOKYO: SoftBank Group Corp. has won approval to conduct a 2.4 trillion yen ($21.04 billion) initial public offering (IPO) of its domestic telecoms business, in a deal that will seal the group’s transformation into a top global technology investor.
The IPO will be one of the biggest ever worldwide, and will provide the group with funds to pay down debt and continue placing big bets on innovations that CEO Masayoshi Son predicts will drive future tech trends.
SoftBank’s bets so far have been as varied as small gaming startups, ride-hailing firms such as Uber Technologies, and e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding.
SoftBank Group aims to raise 2.4 trillion yen through the sale of 1.6 billion SoftBank Corp. shares at an tentative price of 1,500 yen each, a filing with the Ministry of Finance showed on Monday.

 

 The amount could rise by 240.6 billion yen if demand triggers an overallotment, taking the total closer to the $25 billion that Alibaba raised in 2014 in the biggest-ever IPO.
The final IPO price will be determined on Dec. 10, and SoftBank Corp. will list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Dec. 19 with an initial market value of 7.18 trillion yen — about 1 trillion yen above that of rival KDDI Corp, which has about 10 million more subscribers.
The parent will retain a stake of around two-thirds, depending on the overallotment.
The mammoth offering comes at a time when investors have begun questioning the outlook for Japan’s telecoms companies.
The IPO was initially expected to appeal to investors seeking stability, but the government has recently called on carriers to lower fees while backing more wireless competition, sending shockwaves through the industry.
Yet SoftBank’s brand is still likely to draw retail investors long accustomed to using SoftBank’s phone and Internet services. Many still see CEO Son as a tech visionary who brought Apple’s iPhone to Japan.
Japanese households are commonly seen as an attractive target in IPOs with their 1,829 trillion yen in financial assets, even if they are traditionally risk-averse with over 50 percent of assets in cash and deposits. More than 80 percent of the shares will be offered to domestic retail investors, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
“I think a reasonable amount of money will be attracted to this one,” said Tetsutaro Abe, an equity research analyst at Aizawa Securities. “It’s a mobile company, so the cash flow is steady.”

FACTOID

SoftBank to sell 1.6 billion shares at a tentative price of 1,500 yen ($13) each.