The Business Year

Multinational firms see several opportunities in the Sultanate, including in finance and energy.

Noaman Abdul Majid

Country Manager, Pak Oman

Pak Oman is a joint venture between the government of Oman and the government of Pakistan. It was founded in 2001 when His Majesty visited Pakistan. Oman and Pakistan have a long history of fruitful relationships, and a significant number of the Omani population originates from Pakistan. Both countries are also emerging markets with strong potential for economic growth; Both economies have, as a whole, done well over the last 20-30 years. The company was set up with capital of USD100 million; currently our assets are almost USD400 million, and we regularly pay dividends. To date, between USD400-500 million worth of investment has gone from Oman to Pakistan, and this is in addition to our own firm’s book of assets. The Chairman of Pak Oman is also the Chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (SEZAD). We are working closely to determine how we can bring Pakistani companies into Oman. There are many opportunities that we want to capitalize on. It is an ongoing process, and we plan to hold a Duqm roadshow in Pakistan as well. In the coming years, there will be a great deal of business activity in Oman, especially in the free zones. Duqm is a great example, and firms from many countries are keen to invest there.

Yousuf Al Ojaili

CEO, BP Oman

Our challenges were to bring the Khazzan project on stream safely and to maintain the cost we estimated for the project; I am pleased to say we did both. Not only were we able to deliver the project a few months ahead of time, but we also completed under the expected budget. The total capacity of the Khazzan project is 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day. We are gradually ramping up and increasing production up to the planned capacity sometime in 2018. In terms of our people, Omanization is an important part of our business; it is about the knowledge transfer, where we build the capabilities of our employees and contractors. Approximately 40% of our staff is made up of people entering the workforce for the first time. We ensure we transfer skills and knowledge from our more experience colleagues, whether Omani or expatriates. By the end of 2017, we will reach our target of 70% of Omanization. We will also have Omanis working outside of Oman in other BP locations around the world. There, they also gain experience. They deal with other cultures, learn alternative ways of doing things, and benefit from best practices. It is all about cultural and information exchanges as well as development.

Andrew P. Long

CEO, Andrew P. Long

We are a local bank that is 94% Omanized, and we are locally quoted. The distinction that we, as a local bank, have as compared to the other local banks is that we also have the capabilities to pull in our overseas colleagues to help on particular types of business where we need specialized advice that is not available in Oman. Other banks can attempt to deliver that expertise; however, they have to engage with an overseas third-party resource. We have been here longer than anyone else and know the market well. We are focused on the upper end of the retail segment: people with more money and more deposits and investments. In the wholesale space, we have done a great deal of work in terms of helping bring foreign investors into the country, and we bank over 300 multinational subsidiaries here. We also provide advice to different government ministries, including the Ministry of Oil and Gas and the Ministry of Finance. Islamic banking is becoming more relevant, and it will be interesting to see how it develops in Oman in the future. HSBC is not interested at the moment in starting Islamic banking in Oman. We have a sukuk operation based in Dubai that is the number-one team in terms of leading sovereign and corporate sukuk deals.



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