Oman Banking & Financial Services Q1 2019
Like the rest of the economy, Oman's financial services sector is dealing with the impact of low oil prices, weighing onthe industry's short-term growth and development prospects. The banking industry and stock market in particular are expected tosuffer the most, although credit growth has improved in the past year, with total lending forecasted to grow by 5.5% in 2018.Nonetheless, efforts to diversify and upgrade the country's financial infrastructure should reap longer-term benefits, with strongpotential for growth particularly in the relatively undeveloped insurance and Islamic finance markets, especially that healthinsurance has become mandatory this year. The banking sector dominates the industry now, and will do so over the forecast period,with the strength of large local groups - alongside the government's 'Omanisation' programme - likely to remain a barrier to entry forforeign players. The asset management sector and insurance markets are relatively small and underdeveloped, while the stockmarket is far from realising its potential.
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