Muscat, Dec 9 (ONA) --- State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) and Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) have agreed to increase the capital of Oman Brunei Investment Company (OBIC) by another USD $100 million. Thus, bringing the total capital of the company to USD $200 million.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 19th Bilateral Consultative Meeting (BCM) that took place between the Sultanate and Brunei Darussalam Ministries of Foreign Affairs, in Muscat, today.
Abdulsalam Mohammed Al Murshidi, Executive President of SGRF signed on behalf of the Omani government, while Sofian Mohammed Jani, Acting Managing Director of BIA and Chairman of OBIC, signed on behalf of the government of Brunei Darussalam.
The signing ceremony was attended by Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al-Busaidi, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Dato Seri Setia Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohammed Yusof, Minister of Foreign Affairs II of Brunei, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hashil Al Maskari, Sultanate’s Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam and Haji Sulaini bin Haji Said, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the Sultanate.
Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Abdulsalam bin Mohammed Al Murshidi, Executive President of SGRF, said: “OBIC has invested in 9 projects in Oman since its establishment ten years ago, most importantly Kempinski Hotel Muscat, the European Hospital, currently being built in Al Ghubra, and the water desalination plant in Sohar. It has also exited from 3 investments so far yielding good returns. This year, we are pleased that OBIC has acquired 50% share of Golden Corporation, a company that specializes in providing high-quality seafood products and is based in Brunei Darussalam, its first investment in Brunei.”
On his part, Sofian Mohammed Jani, Acting Managing Director of BIA and Chairman of OBIC, said: “We are pleased with the cooperation between SGRF and BIA. The signing of the agreement is icing on the cake for Oman-Brunei bilateral cooperation in the field of investment and related fields.”
Jani also applauded OBIC, describing it as a unique example of successful cooperation between sovereign wealth funds, as it owns a diversified investment portfolio covering numerous sectors. He also hailed the company’s successful investments over the past decade, and expressed optimism that it will continue making the most of business opportunities in both countries’ local markets, in order to further boost their economic development and diversification plans.
It is worth mentioning that OBIC was established in 2009 during the visit of His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam to the Sultanate, with an investment capital of USD $100 million paid equally by the Sultanate of Oman, represented by State General Reserve Fund (SGRF), and Brunei Darussalam represented by Brunei Investment Agency (BIA). The company invests in private equity shares through acquiring strategic stakes in new projects and existing operating companies in vital sectors.
Majority of OBIC funds were deployed between 2014 and 2018, and in order to enhance its portfolio and increase its investment base, company shareholders have agreed to increase authorized capital by USD $100 million, so that the total authorized capital of the Company will be USD $ 200 million.
As all of OBIC’s investments have been in Oman so far, OBIC management aspiration is to invest part of this additional capital in the Sultanate of Brunei, targeting suitable investment opportunities that align with its strategy. OBIC also intends to explore new sectors and market segments in both countries especially in education, agriculture, food and services sectors.