Omani CEOs confident about growth despite low oil prices – KPMG

Oman businesses are far more optimistic than their global counterparts



Up to 81 per cent of Omani CEOs have said they are confident about business growth over the next three years, despite a period of prolonged reduced oil prices, a new survey by KPMG has found.

Oman, which has been hit hard by a drop in oil revenues, has forecast an expenditure of $30.1bn and revenues of $22.4bn for 2017, leading to a projected deficit of $7.7bn.

According to KPMG’s survey, 96 per cent of Oman CEOs said that their organisations will continue to focus on certain “core competencies” to grow their business – including innovation.

Almost half the respondents said their companies took a ‘strategic approach’ to innovation, although 16 per cent indicated that lack of internal resources or intellectual property has meant that innovation had to be brought in – either through alliances or acquisitions.

Meanwhile 62 per cent said their firms will have undergone real change during the next three years.

Vikas Papriwal, head of Markets for KPMG in the UAE and Oman, said: “GCC economies have been experiencing almost unprecedented change in the wake of a prolonged period of low oil prices. However, as Oman embraces a robust national strategy of economic diversification, its CEOs have expressed a very encouraging level of confidence in their business in the next three years.

“The findings of our first Oman CEO Outlook indicate that Oman businesses are far more optimistic than their global counterparts. We attribute this to a very strong generational change across the sultanate with an increasing number of CEOs, especially young Omanis within the 30-40 age bracket, driving decision-making.”

Talent development and management emerged as CEOs’ most important strategic priority – unlike their UAE peers – while Omani CEOs also said they are focussing on diversifying into new business areas.

While UAE CEOs suggested external factors – from global economic to geo-political factors – were most likely to affect growth over the next few years, Oman CEOs believe domestic economic factors outweigh all other factors.

Ashok Hariharan, a partner with KPMG in Oman and head of Tax in the Lower Gulf, said: “It is very encouraging that Oman CEOs across key sectors remain confident of their ability to successfully transform their business despite a challenging economic backdrop.”

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