Recently a new authority named the “Oman Investment Authority” (OIA) was established in the Sultanate of Oman by Sultani Decree No. 61/2020 dated 4 June 2020. It was established to merge the two existing investment funds of the Sultanate which are the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) and the Oman Investment Fund (OIF).
In this article, we consider the benefits of the merger, the legal personality and structure of OIA, the transfer of assets and employees to OIA as well as considering the value of the assets held by the new fund.
The merger of SGRF and OIF has several benefits including avoiding the difficulties of having two similar investment funds with the same remit, economies of scale and avoiding each fund having duplicate functions. The aim of both funds was to make profitable investments and to encourage more inward investment into Oman, creating more jobs for Omanis and helping to diversify the economy away from its dependence on oil.
OIA has legal personality, financial and administrative independence and is subordinate to, and shall report directly to, the Council of Ministers. OIA will be governed by a board of directors formed by an order of His Majesty the Sultan. The previous Executive President of SGRF, Abdulsalam Al Murshidi, has been appointed by His Majesty the Sultan to lead the newly created OIA.
All the competences, allocations, rights, obligations, records, holdings, assets and investments of SGRF, OIF and the Directorate General of Investments (DGI) in the Ministry of Finance are transferred to OIA. In addition, all ownership of government companies and investments are transferred to OIA by the Ministry of Finance, except for Oman Petroleum Development Company, government contributions to international institutions and companies for which an order is issued by His Majesty the Sultan. Finally, all the employees of SGRF and OIF have been transferred to OIA with the same employment status and financial entitlements.
According to the SWE Institute, prior to the establishment of OIA, SGRF had assets of approx. USD 14.3 billion and OIF had assets of approx. USD 3.4 billion. This gives OIA assets of approx. USD 17.7 billion plus the DGI assets, making it the 35th largest independent fund in the world (according to SWE Institute).
If you have any questions relating to OIA, please get in touch with us.