SULTANATE’S BANKS CAN HANDLE MACROECONOMIC SHOCKS, SAYS CBO CHIEF

MUSCAT: The banking sector in the sultanate is growing at a good pace and enjoys sufficient flexibility and sectoral diversity to contain changes in macroeconomic indicators, including the drop in oil prices, according to H E Hamood al Zadjali, CBO’s executive president.

The sector was similarly able to handle the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2009 and its impact on oil prices, he added.

In his foreword in the latest issue of Al Markazi, a bi-monthly publication issued by the CBO, H E Zadjali said that the banking sector is under the highest level of regulation and supervision, in accordance with international best practices.

The average capital to risk (weighted) assets ratio (CRAR) of banks was about 15.1 per cent at the end of September 2014, above the CBO’s requirement of 12 per cent and Basel III stipulations.

H E Zadjali added that the debt-to-income ratio stood at 77.4 per cent at the end of 2014. This compares with the central bank’s official stipulation of 87.5 per cent.

“Banks operating in the sultanate have high levels of liquidity and funds necessary for financing economically feasible projects, and enjoy high financial indicators in terms of assets, appropriations coverage, capital adequacy and profitability,” the central bank chief added.

SOURCE: Muscat Daily