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 9.19 billion R.O in March 2013 to 10.38 billion R.O at the end of March 2014, representing an increase of 12.8%.
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 14.3 billion R.O at the end of Q1 2013 to 15.6 billion R.O at the end of Q1 2014, representing an increase of 9.2%. During the twelve month period, the average interest rate on total credit at the end of March 2014 stood at 4.874% versus an average interest rate of 5.134% recorded at the end of Q1 2013, representing a fall of 5.1%.
The report also notes that currency issued by the end of March 2014 totaled 1.42 billion R.O compared with 1.23 billion R.O registered during Q1 2013, representing a growth of 15.3%. During the same period, the total value of narrow money supply recorded an increase of 25.4%, rising from 3.7 billion R.O in Q1 2013 to 4.6 billion R.O at the end of March 2014. Meanwhile, broad money supply grew by 13.7% over the twelve month study period, rising from 11.2 billion R.O in Q1 2013 to 12.7 billion R.O by the end of March 2014. Additionally, foreign assets at the Central Bank of Oman grew by 10%, recording 7 billion R.O in assets compared with 6.4 billion R.O during Q1 2013. During the twelve month study period, the NCSI report also notes a 0.5% 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.
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