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Cash-Strapped Oman May be Next Pressure Point in Oil-Rich Gulf

  • Sultanate has region’s ‘most concerning credit trends’: Arqaam
  • Bonds trade at a discount to Bahrain’s despite higher rating
A man walks along the Mutrah Corniche seafront in the old city of Muscat, Oman.

A man walks along the Mutrah Corniche seafront in the old city of Muscat, Oman.

Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg
Updated on

Bond investors rattled by Bahrain’s fiscal woes last year have turned their attention to Oman.

The cash-strapped sultanate has been slow to implement reforms following the crash in oil prices in 2014 and is seeking to tap the debt market for a fourth year. Its budget deficit is among the largest of all the sovereigns tracked by Fitch Ratings, which downgraded its debt to junk in December. Concerns over Oman’s dwindling buffers have also sparked a debate on whether it’ll need a bailout similar to the one that Bahrain got last year.