S&P Global Ratings has revised Oman’s outlook to positive and affirmed its ratings at 'BB', in light of improving fiscal performance.
S&P said in its credit rating report on the Sultanate issued Saturday, that the revised outlook came as a result of the reform measures undertaken by the government in the financial and economic areas that may contribute to strengthening Oman’s fiscal position in a better way than the agency expects, adding a greater degree of resilience of the national economy against oil price shocks.
The steadily improving fiscal performance, underpinned by supportive policies and programs, was reflected in the significant reductions in public debts, the agency said.
This was also evident from the strong growth witnessed by the nominal GDP and the decline in total debt to GDP from more than 60 percent in 2021 to about 40 percent in 2022, it stated.
The agency added that the Sultanate is determined to continue improving its fiscal position, which will enhance its resilience against oil prices volatility.
According to S&P Global, Oman’s public debt is projected to decline to around 16.5 billion Omani riyal, representing 37 percent of the GDP by the end of this year. The diminishing public debt trend, coupled with financial surpluses expected during 2023 and 2024, will further improve Oman’s financial situation, it said.
In its report, the agency said that the government managed to rationalize public spending during 2022, despite the increase in oil revenues, as a result of the government's continued efforts to control public expenditure.
Oman has managed to reduce the public debt to 16.6 billion riyals during the first quarter of 2023.
Oman’s oil exports decreased by 6.9 percent to 49.713 million barrels at the end of February 2023, according to Oman News Agency.
Oil condensate production also increased by 3 percent, compared to the same period in 2022, to around 62.75 million barrels during the same period.
The data indicated that the domestic production of natural gas in Oman increased by 10.3 percent on an annual basis, reaching 8.5 billion cubic meters.