Oman may issue sovereign, Islamic bonds in 2014


ABU DHABI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Oman's government may issuean international sovereign bond and an Islamic bond next year,its central bank chief Hamood Sangour al-Zadjali said on Sunday.

He said it was still too early to provide details on thesize of the bonds. His comments were in line with previousremarks by government officials; the country faces increasingpressure on its state finances because of rising expenditure,which is expected to prompt it to return to the internationaldebt market for the first time since 1997.

"The planned sovereign bond is still in discussions. Wecould issue next year," Zadjali told Reuters on the sidelines ofa meeting of Arab central bank governors in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, Oman aims to develop its fledgling Islamicfinance industry, and a debut issue of sukuk by the governmentwould be a major step towards that.

Zadjali also said Oman planned a domestic issue ofgovernment development bonds worth 100 million rials ($260million) in the fourth quarter of this year.

"It is for development purposes as well as for projects," hesaid.

He added that Oman's banking sector was expected to grow15-20 percent this year in terms of assets, while banking sectorprofits were expected to grow by 10-20 percent.

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