Month: September 2011

Opening of OCCI and INDEXPO

Last week, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), together with the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Union and the Silver Star Projects Company, opened the INDEXPO, the fourth Oman-India trade exhibition.  Shaikh Abdullah bin Nasir al Bakir, the country’s Manpower Minister, engaged in the opening process, said that the exhibition is important in terms of the development of good relations between India and the Sultanate.

These exhibitions are extremely important for many reasons.  It already shows those in India and Oman how well relations are progressing between the two regions and it further opens opportunities for businesses and investors to bolster all activity in the Sultanate. Officials also hope that it will be extremely beneficial to all, especially the over 80 Indian business participants since it should open the potential for new activity for them in the Omani market.

Further Omani Business Potential

The OCCI’s chairman, Khalil bin Abdullah al Khonji also spoke about the upcoming plans of an Omani trade exhibition in New Delhi later on this year.  This will be attended by Omani companies as well.  So it seems there is definite activity that will be furthering possibilities for businesses and investors in Oman.

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Oman Heads to Marmomacc

This year’s Marmomacc 46th International Exhibition of Stone and Design and Technology will have some new attendees.  Four companies from Oman will be traveling to Italy for one of Europe’s most impressive fair in stone and design later on this month.  Areas of interest include: machinery, marble, instrumental products, stone processing, and more.  Experts in contract and construction sectors will find the exhibition particularly beneficial, being able to view more than 1,500 exhibitors from over 50 countries.  Indeed, according to the Oman Observer the exhibition is seen by many as “the essential business exhibition for international producers, designers and decision makers seeking success in an increasingly specialist marble and stone market.”

Oman Companies at Marmomacc

The four companies that will be in attendance from Oman are: Al Madina Engineering & Industrial Works LLC; Al Shanfari Marble Company LLC, Al Turki Enterprises LLC and the Gulf Stone Company SAOG.  This is definitely a momentous time for Oman business in general.  Indeed, as Acting Director General of Export Development at the Public Authority for Investment, Promotion & Export Development, Faris al Farsi said, “Marmomacc 2011 is going to be the best yet. There’s an amazing variety of people, both exhibitors and visitors at this important four-day show and a really all-round experience is had by the exhibitors. At the end of the day, we want the participating Omani companies to meet existing and potential customers and have the opportunity to do some serious business networking.”

<h2>Good for Omani Business</h2>

In addition, as Al Farsi noted, that given the economic slump, often a trade show is the first thing to be reneged upon. But, as he also pointed out, “if you save on the cost of participating but miss out on the RO 100,000 contract or sales opportunities that the trade show could have generated, you aren’t coming out ahead. To make sales, you have to make contacts and the Omani companies participating with the Authority at Marmomacc clearly understand that. I’m confident that the Omani exhibitors will leave Verona with a wealth of information on great new products and ideas to boost their business. Indeed, I fully expect them to meet the right sort of people and get great feedback and positive business leads.”

Omani business definitely has much to look forward to.

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Growth of Sultanate

There has been substantial growth in all operations of Sultanate – the national air carrier – over the last year.  According to deputy chairman of Oman Air Board and head of the Executive Committee and undersecretary of the Transport and Communications Ministry for Civil Aviation Affairs, Sheikh Said bin Ali bin Nafl Al Mas’hali, there was a 24 percent jump in the number of passengers traveling via this airline in the first six months of 2011.  Sheikh Al Mas’hali discussed this matter in a statement to Oman News Agency. Figures show that there were 1,845,341 who traveled during this time period via Sultanate.

Good Business News for Oman

This has to be good for other Omani businesses.  And that is exactly what has proved to have happened.  Just looking at the Oman Air Catering Unit, it is clear that everyone is benefitting.  This company provided more than 16 percent of meals than they had done last year, which resulted in a staggering 2,450,151 meals being prepared for the flights.  So, one successful business results in more business and profits all around for Oman, or at least it has the potential to.

As Sheikh Al Mas’hali noted, “the company managed to increase revenues by 40 per cent, passengers by 38 per cent (3.3 million passengers), seat occupancy rate by 72 per cent from 61 per cent and transport 28,600 tons of goods (increase by 99 per cent in air freight).”  In addition, there was a 238 percent increase in revenues and a 29 percent increase in meals on the flights.  Go Sultanate!


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Good Tidings for Oman’s Stocks

Last Thursday saw an increase in Oman’s blue chip stocks, alongside a higher closing of Gulf markets. This occurred amidst an environment of optimism and hope that America’s Federal Reserve Chair is to announce new measures that will boost the country’s economy, leading to good news for economies around the world.

For Oman it was exciting to see a raise of 5.3 percent in the Renaissance (oil) Services which marked the highest trading volumes in Oman. This followed a substantial low of last week after a financial fraud at Topaz was revealed.

Global Economy Fears

Still, this hasn’t stopped fears for the global economy. Due to a huge slump in the benchmark index (the lowest level ever in two years), fears mounted once more that the world economy may start going back into a recession. Indeed, according to United Securities brokerage manager Adel Nasr, “there is a strong come-back from local pension funds and also foreigners. Lots of asset managers are accumulating [stocks] after the drop we had last week. The upward trend was accelerated by global markets’ sentiment.”

The Flip Side

On the flip side however, there was an increase in Muscat’s benchmark up to 1.2 percent for a second consecutive day. Indeed, trading volumes were the highest since April 24. And even world stocks weren’t having it too rough. The MSCI measurement saw the world equity index increase by 0.3 percent. Investors are now playing the waiting game, with the optimistic hope that Bernanke will reveal the Fed is prepared to offer more stimulus to the world’s largest economy in his upcoming address to central bankers at the yearly symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the end of this week. While there is definitely positive feelings about what will happen with the global markets (along with some high expectations of drastic measures to be taken), only time will tell which will the pendulum will swing.

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