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Speculation mounts over Omani finances, succession and Saudi relations

The Ministry of Finance in Muscat has been forced to deny a report by the Reuters news wire that the sultanate has held talks with Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia over placing a multi-billion dollar deposit with Central Bank of Oman (CBO) to help fill a hole in public finances. Citing Qatari and Omani sources, Reuters said the move would help to shore up CBO’s foreign exchange reserves and head off pressure on the rial. However, Muscat dismissed the story, releasing a statement on 10 January which said “there have not been any negations… the sultanate has enough reserves”. It added that the rial did not face any risks.

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