Oman: 25 investors interested in two power assets

Oman has outlined plans in recent years to sell off state assets as it seeks to confront fiscal deficits built up after a drop in oil prices. (AFP)
Updated 11 March 2019
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Oman: 25 investors interested in two power assets

  • Nama Group plans to sell a 70 percent stake in Muscat Electricity Distribution and 49 percent of Oman Electricity Transmission
  • Oman has outlined plans in recent years to sell off state assets as it seeks to confront fiscal deficits built up after a drop in oil prices

DUBAI: Oman has received 25 expressions of interest from investors interested in buying stakes in two electricity companies under a privatization plan aimed at boosting state coffers, officials said on Monday.
Nama Group, a government holding company, plans to sell a 70 percent stake in Muscat Electricity Distribution and 49 percent of Oman Electricity Transmission. The firms have combined assets worth $3.2 billion.
Nama tweeted that it had received 14 offers for Muscat Electricity Distribution and 11 bids for Oman Electricity Transmission. It said 23 “strategic and financial investors” were among the bidders but did not name them.
Oman has outlined plans in recent years to sell off state assets as it seeks to confront fiscal deficits built up after a drop in oil prices. It forecast a 2019 budget deficit of 2.8 billion rials ($7.3 billion) or 9 percent of gross domestic product.
Last week, Moody’s followed other rating agencies and cut Oman’s credit rating to junk with a negative outlook, citing fiscal challenges at a time of moderate oil prices.
Mansoor Al-Hinai, a Nama vice president, told a news conference in Muscat on Monday that the deals are expected to be finalized by the end of 2019, local news website WAF News said.
It quoted him as saying that three other power distribution companies would be privatized in the second half of next year.
The Gulf Arab state has more than 60 state-owned firms but smaller energy reserves and lower oil output than wealthy Gulf neighbors, so it faces a bigger strain on its state finances as it continues to fund welfare programs and create jobs.


Turkey says trying to convince US to allow Iranian oil imports

Updated 37 min 19 sec ago
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Turkey says trying to convince US to allow Iranian oil imports

  • US demanded that Iranian oil buyers stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions
  • The decision was more stringent than expected, and caught several key importers to plead with the US

ANKARA: Turkey is trying to convince the United States to allow refiner Tupras, its biggest oil importer, to continue buying crude oil from Iran free of sanctions, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Friday.
Washington on Monday said it will not renew exemptions granted last year to buyers of Iranian oil, including Turkey, and it demanded that buyers stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions.
The decision was more stringent than expected, and caught several key importers who have been pleading with Washington to continue buying Iranian oil sanctions-free.