Oman’s government is planning to tap international and local debt markets this year as it seeks to plug the widest budget deficit among Gulf Arab economies. The sultanate, rated junk by the three major rating companies, hired Bank Muscat for a local-currency Islamic bond offering, according to the Finance Ministry. The sale will target local and small investors through a book-building process, it said in a statement on Wednesday. The Finance Ministry didn’t provide details of what would be its first international debt offering in over a year. The biggest Arab oil exporter outside OPEC was among the more vulnerable economies in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council even before the virus outbreak and the crash in oil. Oman’s dire financial straits are a major challenge for Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq ...read more...