Oman Wealth Fund’s Latest Revamp Focuses on Tourism, Real Estate

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(Bloomberg) —

© Bloomberg Tourists ride a jet ski through the water off Al Qurum beach area in Muscat, Oman, on Saturday, May 5, 2018. Being the Switzerland of the Gulf served the country well over the decades, helping the sultanate survive, thrive and make it a key conduit for trade and diplomacy in the turbulent Middle East.

Oman’s $17 billion wealth fund plans to restructure its tourism and real estate investments in the latest shift by the $17 billion sovereign investor.

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The Oman Investment Authority will transfer a shareholding company, a tourism development project and resorts to the Omran Tourism Development Co., also known as Omran Group, the wealth fund said in a statement Sunday.

This move aims to “drive growth for Omran Group and strengthen its role in supporting economic diversification,” the statement added. Omran Group was established by the government in 2005 to focus on developing sources of economic diversification and attracting foreign direct investment to the Gulf nation, according to its website.

Last June, Oman combined its two wealth funds — the State General Reserve Fund and the Oman Investment Fund — into one entity.

The sultanate — one of the Gulf’s weakest sovereigns — is aiming to add greater variety to its economy as it struggles to improve its finances. Its budget deficit has swollen to become the widest in the region, due to lower oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

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