Muscat, The Board of Directors of Oman Development Bank (ODB) confirmed to continue supporting and financing small, medium and micro enterprises and corporate projects, especially during Covid-19 pandemic. The period of the pandemic saw announcing many financing packages and incentives to these enterprises.

The move comes to mitigate the repercussions of the pandemic and its direct effects on the business sector worldwide, including the Sultanate.

During its fifth meeting for 2021, which was held today, the ODB Board of Directors was briefed on the bank’s results during 2021. The results reflected the beginning of the recovery and growth of economic activities in the Sultanate. This is evident in the growing lending activity of the bank, which grew by 1.7 percent to date compared to the same period in 2020.

The number of approved development loans reached 3,073 covering various economic sectors.

The ODB Board of Directors explained that despite the bank’s achievement, the net profit exceeded RO 4 million during the first half of 2021. However, the developmental impact of lending activity on the stability of economic activities and assisting these activities in mitigating repercussions of the pandemic was the major challenge that the bank sought to achieve during the last period.

ODB loan portfolio continued to grow during 2021 to reach RO 173 million, registering an increase of 1.5 percent compared to the same period in 2020, which is a good indication of the robust financial status of the ODB.

Among the most prominent positive indicators achieved by the bank during the last period of 2021, the collection of loan installments grew by 7.9 percent compared to 2020; a clear contributor that the non-performing loans (NPLs) index fell to 7.2 percent.

The total number of loans granted by the ODB during the first half of 2021 reached 2521 with a total value of more than RO 26 million, constituting an increase by 45 percent in the number of loans compared to the same period in 2020.

ODB has strengthened its lending activity to the professional and public services sector as the value of loans granted to this sector exceeded RO 11.2 million distributed over 586 development loans.

The Bank continued its interest in the promising fisheries sector, which ranked second in terms of the value of financing that amounts to about RO 6 million. It is the largest in terms of the number of loans during the first half of 2021 with a total number of 960 development loans.

The manufacturing activity is one of the most profitable economic activities as it contributed to increasing the volume of exports and reducing imports. ODB funded setting up and developing projects in industrial areas and various governorates across the Sultanate. The number of projects funded during the first half of 2021 was 473 with a total value of RO 3 million.

Although the tourism sector has taken the brunt of the pandemic, the bank continues to finance this sector, especially those existing and profitable projects. ODB approved 114 tourist loans, with a total value of up to RO 2.6 million.

The bank has increased its lending activity to the agricultural and livestock sector by providing 315 development loans during the first half of 2021 with a total value of nearly RO 2 million.

ODB also continued to support the educational and health service sectors, which contributes to raising the efficiency of these two vital sectors and helping the government to fund those two sectors. The number of funded projects in the two sectors reached 72 with a total value of more than RO 2 million.

ODB is pressing ahead in supporting the logistics and mining sectors and other promising economic sectors by offering diverse incentives. The move reflects the bank's keenness to partner with the government to effectively entering the private sector and thus benefiting the private sector from financing products provided by the bank.

With regard to the category of loans, micro-enterprises had the largest share in terms of the number of funded projects and the financing value. The number of funded loans reached 1897 during the first half of 2021 and their value of financing surpassed RO 8.2 million. The bank targets to finance self-employed young Omanis of this category.

ODB has strengthened its efforts in providing working capital loans. The value of its financing exceeded RO 6.5 million as 227 projects in various economic sectors benefited from these loans.

During the same period, ODB financed 107 small and medium loans with a total value of more than RO 5.76 million.

The bank has also financed 11 mega projects with a total value up to RO 5.8 million. This aims to augment the exchange activity and benefits among local projects and supplying the local market with high quality products, in addition to global export.

During the first half of 2021, ODB continued to provide financial incentives for self-employed segments mostly affected by the pandemic. The second package included 259 loans with a total value of more than RO 400,000 for the categories of vendors, professionals associated with fishing and selling fish and taxi owners. These incentives were added to the first package provided by the bank.

Source: Oman News Agency