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Moody’s upgrades Oman’s outlook to ‘positive’ on higher oil prices

Oman swung to a budget surplus in the first half of 2022.

Global ratings agency Moody’s on Thursday upgraded Oman’s outlook to “positive” from “stable”, citing elevated oil prices easing the Middle Eastern nation’s debt position over the next few years.

Oman, one of the Gulf’s weaker economies, swung to a budget surplus in the first half of 2022, easing pressure on public finances and improving its ability to meet debt obligations.

Moody’s expects Oman’s fiscal balance to remain in surplus for the next two years.

“The prospect that oil prices remain elevated for the next few years affords the government additional time to advance its fiscal and economic reform agenda,” Moody’s said.

The agency, however, affirmed its Ba3 ratings, citing Oman’s high vulnerability to potential future declines in oil demand and prices.

The International Monetary Fund earlier on Thursday lowered its forecast for Oman’s GDP growth in 2022, saying uncertainties continue to cloud the country’s outlook.