Oman receives interest in two power assets

Oman: Oman has received 25 expressions of interest from investors interested in buying stakes in two electricity companies under a privatisation plan aimed at boosting state coffers, officials said on Monday.

Nama Group, a government holding company, plans to sell a 70 percent stake in Muscat Electricity Distribution and 49 percent of Oman Electricity Transmission. The firms have combined assets worth $3.2 billion.

Nama said it had received 14 offers for Muscat Electricity Distribution and 11 bids for Oman Electricity Transmission. It reported that 23 “strategic and financial investors” were among the bidders but did not name them.

Oman has outlined plans in recent years to sell off state assets as it seeks to confront fiscal deficits built up after a drop in oil prices. It forecast a 2019 budget deficit of $7.3 billion (2.8 billion rials) or 9 percent of gross domestic product.

Mansoor al Hinai, a Nama vice president, told a news conference in Muscat on Monday that the deals are expected to be finalised by the end of 2019.

He said that three other power distribution companies would be privatised in the second half of next year.

Source: Reuters