A recently released 'Money and Banking' report issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) reveals a notable increase in the total value of commercial bank deposits by the private sector in the twelve month period ending March 2014. During this period, the total value of commercial bank deposits increased from OMR 9.19 billion in March 2013 to OMR 10.38 billion at the end of March 2014, representing an increase of 12.8 per cent.
According to the NCSI report, the total value of loans and credit recorded by commercial banks also registered a significant increase over the same period, growing from OMR 14.3 billion at the end of Q1 2013 to OMR 15.6 billion at the end of Q1 2014, representing an increase of 9.2 per cent. During the twelve month period, the average interest rate on total credit at the end of March 2014 stood at 4.874 per cent versus an average interest rate of 5.134 per cent recorded at the end of Q1 2013, representing a fall of 5.1 per cent.
The report also notes that currency issued by the end of March 2014 totalled OMR 1.42 billion compared with OMR 1.23 billion registered during Q1 2013, representing a growth of 15.3 per cent. During the same period, the total value of narrow money supply recorded an increase of 25.4 per cent, rising from OMR 3.7 billion in Q1 2013 to OMR 4.6 billion at the end of March 2014.
Meanwhile, broad money supply grew by 13.7 per cent over the twelve month study period, rising from OMR 11.2 billion in Q1 2013 to OMR 12.7 billion by the end of March 2014. Additionally, foreign assets at the Central Bank of Oman grew by 10 per cent, recording OMR 7 billion in assets compared with OMR 6.4 billion during Q1 2013. During the twelve month study period, the NCSI report also notes a 0.5 per cent rise in the index of the effective exchange rate of the Omani Rial, which points to an increase in purchasing power for the Omani Rial.