RO 2bln Future Fund Oman Launched

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muscat

Muscat: In line with the Royal directives to translate the objectives and mandates of Oman Investment Authority (OIA) and further drive its efforts to develop the national economy and attract foreign investments, OIA today officially launched Future Fund Oman to start serving a wide range of investment categories.

Future Fund Oman has a capital of RO 2 billion that will be utilized over a five-year period, with RO 400 million every year. The Fund will allocate 90% of its capital to directly invest in new or existing investment projects that prove to be commercially and economically viable. The remaining 10% is divided into 7% allocated to SMEs and 3% allocated to startups.

The Fund offers its funding and investment solutions to various investor categories. They include private sector organizations, business owners, SMEs, foreign investors, and startups. With the exception of oil and gas and real estate in direct local investments, the fund will focus on eight targeted sectors, including tourism, manufacturing, green energy, information and communication technologies, ports and logistics, mining, fisheries, and agriculture.

Abdulsalam Mohammed Al Murshidi, Chairman of OIA, underscored that Future Fund Oman is established in line with government policies and strategies aimed at enhancing targeted economic sectors. He explained that it comes as a key enabler of economic diversification and a credible partner to local and international investors who are considering investing and expanding their businesses into Oman and becoming part of the Omani business community.

He added that this step helps in further empowering and integrating with the private sector, supporting SMEs, and bolstering venture capital in the Sultanate of Oman. He further noted that Future Fund Oman is OIA’s third portfolio, along with the two existing portfolios – the National Development Fund and the Future Generations Fund. With its extensive investment expertise, OIA will manage the Fund and demonstrate the capabilities of local talents who have already proven to be successful wealth managers and investors with a track record of accomplishing good investment returns.

On the other hand, Mulham Al Jarf, Deputy Chairman for Investment at OIA, underlined that the Fund will be governed by OIA’s governance practices as per best international practices to ensure efficiency and flexibility in achieving the desired financial and economic objectives of establishing the Fund. The Fund will complement the existing government financing and investment ecosystem that currently involves a number of institutions such as the Development Bank, SMEs Development Fund, Rakiza Fund, Oman Technology Fund, etc.

He pointed out that Future Fund Oman offers flexibility in choosing the type of investment participation, whether through direct financing at market rates or equity investments with the private sector in a balanced manner that is not limited to one sector alone.

In compliance with the principles of governance and transparency, the Fund will adhere to OIA’s quality standards that have already put OIA in the second place globally in the Governance and Sustainability Development Index between 2022 and 2023.

The Fund will have two committees in its governance structure; they include an Investment Committee, which comprises five members representing OIA, the Ministry of Finance, and independent entities. This committee will be responsible for approving new and follow on investments as well as divestments. The second committee will be the Advisory Committee, which is tasked with the supervision and follow-up on SME and startup investments.

To achieve the Fund’s national objectives, the Ministry of Finance will act as a strategic partner to OIA in managing the direct local projects, while the SMEs Development Authority will serve as a member in the Advisory Committee to provide insights and advice to the Investment Committee. Additionally, the Oman National Investment Development Co. (Tanmia), ITHCA Group, Omantel, and Cyfr Capital will manage investments allocated for SMEs and startups.

Leveraging new technologies to improve convenience, transparency, and process automation, interested investors can apply directly via the electronic platform (www.Futurefund.om) which is designed to enable easy access to all relevant information about the financing requirements. The investor will be required to create an account on the platform and answer a set of questions to qualify the investment opportunities and help them identify the appropriate financing model. If the financing requirements are fully addressed, the applicant will be required to fill out the designated Investment Opportunity Form to complete the application process, which will afterward be forwarded to the concerned team for consideration. Review and analysis of an application may take up to three months after submission. Applicants will be updated about the status of their applications on a regular basis. The required documents depend on the nature and phase of the project. However, generally, they must be substantiated by a feasibility study, including, for instance, the technical information and actual and anticipated financials of the project, the applicant’s previous financial statements, and personal identification documents.  -ONA

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