GCC citizens eye properties in Oman as number of buyers rises

Many Gulf nationals often buy properties in prominent tourist spots. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 October 2018
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GCC citizens eye properties in Oman as number of buyers rises

  • An increase of 17.63 percent has been recorded

DUBAI: The number of GCC citizens buying properties in Oman has risen by 17.63 percent according to the country's National Center for Statistics and Information, local daily Times of Oman reported on Sunday.

The statistics show that 1,038 properties were purchased by GCC nationals in August 2018, compared to the 855 purchased last year.

“The increase in the number of GCC nationals’ ownership of plots in Oman is because they benefit from the returns on investment in the real estate sector and its value, compared to some other Gulf states. Some of them also buy plots because they have relatives in Oman and want to live near them. Some have inherited land plots because they are of Omani origin, in addition to the desire of many investors to own property in some provinces because of the weather and moderate climate,” an official from Oman’s housing ministry said.

GCC nationals often buy properties in prominent tourist spots in Oman, according to Ahmed Al-Hooti, a member of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Many nationals from Saudi, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain come here and buy properties in popular tourist spots such as Salalah, Masirah Island, and eastern beaches such as Ras Al Hadd for activities such as fishing,” Al-Hooti said.


Japan’s economy contracts as natural disasters hit

Updated 1 min 2 sec ago
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Japan’s economy contracts as natural disasters hit

  • ‘Natural disasters forced consumers to stay indoors and halted factory operations, which led to a slowdown in production and investment activities’
  • ‘Going forward, we remain optimistic that the economy will improve’

TOKYO: Japan’s economy shrank in the three months to September, official data showed Wednesday, after a string of natural disasters hit consumer spending and exports, and China’s slowing economy cast a shadow.
Gross domestic product for the July-September period contracted 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, reversing growth of 0.8 percent in the April-June period, according to the government’s Cabinet Office.
A number of natural disasters dampened personal consumption, company investment and exports, said Katsunori Kitakura, lead strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management.
“Natural disasters forced consumers to stay indoors and halted factory operations, which led to a slowdown in production and investment activities,” he said in a commentary ahead of the data release.
Japan was hit by several natural disasters this summer, including massive flooding in western regions due to torrential rains, a typhoon that inundated a major international airport, and an earthquake in the north that disrupted supply lines.
The temporary closure of the Kansai International Airport led to a fall in tourism and overseas shipments, Kitakura said.
Exports of goods and services were down 1.8 percent from the April-June quarter, with private consumption slumping 0.1 percent and corporate investment in plants and equipment off 0.2 percent.
But Kitakura anticipated a rebound in the last quarter of the year thanks to a broadly solid global economy.
“Going forward, we remain optimistic that the economy will improve. While we remain cautious on China-US trade, the global economy continues to show solid growth and exports should continue to rise,” he said.
Kohei Iwahara, economist at Natixis Japan Securities, noted that one of the major drivers for the Japanese economy has been external factors like exports.
“But the trade war uncertainties have begun to increase, we see some slowdown in Asia and that is gradually hitting Japan,” he said.
For the rest of the year, Iwahara said he was “cautiously optimistic” as the effects of the natural disasters will fade in the final quarter.
Additionally, “the government could introduce a new fiscal stimulus package so that the economy will not fall apart and ... they can hike the consumption tax next year,” he said.
Japan has announced a long-delayed sales tax hike will go into effect in October 2019 to address the nation’s huge public debt, despite warnings it could hobble growth by dampening already lackluster consumer spending.
The point-of-sale tax will rise from eight percent to 10 percent as the aging and heavily indebted country battles to finance snowballing social security bills — especially medical fees.
The last such move — in April 2014 — was blamed for tipping Japan into a brief recession.
This time, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believes he can avoid a sharp decline in consumer spending by introducing measures to cushion the blow, including plans to leave the sales tax on food unchanged.