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Oman’s wealth fund considers IPO for water company

Majis Industrial Services water
Oman's Majis Industrial Services delivers seawater, treatment, supply and waste management to customers

Oman’s sovereign wealth fund, the Oman Investment Authority (OIA), is considering a public share sale for water company Majis Industrial Services.

The OIA has invited banks to pitch for roles in Majis’s initial public offering, said two sources, declining to be named.

The OIA and Majis did not respond to Reuters’s requests for comment.

The OIA, which holds $17 billion worth of assets according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, was created in 2020 when two of the sultanate’s wealth funds – State General Reserve Fund and the Oman Investment Fund – were merged into one entity.

Oman aims to list 35 state-owned enterprises in the next five years and plans to take one or two oil companies public this year, the CEO of the Muscat Stock Exchange told CNBC Arabia in March.

Majis covers two industrial areas in Oman, the SOHAR Port and Freezone and Sohar Industrial Estate, delivering seawater, treatment, supply and waste management to customers who require cooling water and wastewater services.

The company also owns a significant minority stake in Dubai-based utilities firm Utico, which it acquired for $400 million in 2019.

Oman, which according to S&P gets 75 percent of fiscal receipts from hydrocarbon products, has introduced some reforms to diversify revenues, including introducing a 5 percent value-added tax last year.

The reforms and a shake-up of state entities are being driven by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, who took the throne in early 2020 after the death of Sultan Qaboos, who ruled the small oil producer for nearly five decades.