Tuesday, Jun 25, 2019

The establishment of the Central Bank of Oman in the beginning of 1974 was a natural outcome of the steady evolution of the monetary system in the Sultanate of Oman coupled with the prospects of the vast economic developments the country was about to witness. Until 1970, when H.M.Sultan Qaboos bin Said took over, there was no national authority responsible for the supervision of the incipient banking system. The number of banks was small and the banking activities were limited in scales.

The two monetary authorities that preceded the establishment of the Central Bank of Oman, namely the Muscat Currency Authority in 1970 and the Oman Currency Board in 1972, were not vested with full banking status, but, they had well prepared the ground for the emergence of the Central Bank of Oman.

However the major event heralding the eminent creation of the Central Bank of Oman was the launching of the Banking Law in 1974 (which was amended vide Royal Decree No. 114/2000).

  • The Central Bank of Oman acts as the depository agency for the Government of the Sultanate of Oman.
  • It’s also the regulator of the Oman’s commercial banks, specialized banks and finance and leasing companies. Money exchange houses also are regulated by the Central Bank of Oman.
  • It makes advance payments to the Government in respect to temporary deficiencies in recurrent revenues.
  • It  manages loans on behalf of the Government.
  • It maintains, at all times, a part of the Sultanate's foreign assets as cover for the currency in circulation at prescribed ratios.
  • It accepts deposits from banks operating in the Sultanate and from other foreign Central Banks, International Monetary and Financial Institutions. There are two types of deposits that the Central Bank of Oman accepts from commercial banks: deposits which are required by the Banking Law or sanctioned by the Board of Governors and voluntary deposits which are deposited by banks' own will with a view to gain the benefits attached to such deposits.
  • It advances credit to local banks and engages in investment activities through the purchase and sale of financial instruments.
  • It determines discount and rediscount rates.
  • It provides clearing house services for all member banks.
  • It issues the national currency, supervises its circulation, preserves its value and manages foreign assets.
  • In addition to the above mentioned traditional functions, the Central Bank of Oman also acts as the advisor of the Government in economic matters in general and monetary and financial matters in particular.

The steady expansion of the banking sector has resulted in subsequent rise in the number of commercial banks' branches opened in various parts of the Sultanate. By the end of 2007, the number of branches opened by commercial banks in the whole country stood at 361 branches (in additions to 23 branches of 2 specialized banks, namely:

Oman Housing Bank, Oman Development Bank) as against 55 branches in 1975. To render services to the branches of the Commercial banks,the Central Bank of Oman opened two branches, one in Salalah, in the South in 1978, and the other in Sohar, in the North, in 1988. CBO's services through the establishment of these branches cover a wide range of essential banking activities such as clearing house facilities, inter bank transfers, issuance and redeeming of currency, selling commemorative Currency, and accepting old currency for new one.

The general superintendence and direction of the Central Bank's affairs is vested in the Board of   Governors. The Board has full authority to perform all acts required for the management and operations of the Central Bank and supervision of the banking business in the Sultanate.

The Board of Governors consists of seven members appointed by H.M. the Sultan. The Board is vested with a wide range of powers including the issuance of regulations pertinent to the proper implementation of the Banking Law, regulations regarding levels and rates of discount and rediscount of commercial papers, regulations regarding capital adequacy, appointment of Bank personnel and description of jobs and other regulations deemed necessary.

The first chairman of the Board of Governors was the late His Highness Tariq bin Taimoor Al Said (1974 – 1980). The composition of the present Board of Governors is as follows:
H.E. Dr. Ali bin Mohammed bin Moosa,   
Deputy Chairman- CBO
Chairman - Tender Board
H.E. Sultan Bin Salim Bin Said Al Habsi,      
Under Secretary Ministry of Finance
Hamood bin Sangour bin Hashim Al Zadjali CBO Executive President 
Yahya bin Saeed bin Abdullah Al Jabri (Member)
Mohsin bin Haidar bin Darwish  (Member)
Dr. Hatim bin Bakheet Al Shanfari (Member)

Address: P.O. Box 1161, Postal Code 112,Ruwi, Sultanate of Oman.
Phone number: (+968) 24 777 777
Fax: (+968) 24 788 995
Web: http://www.cbo-oman.org




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