oman

Claire Jones

Standard & Poor’s downgrade looks set to have little immediate impact on central bank reserve managers’ fondness for US Treasuries.

Despite China’s posturing, it – and others– look set to remain big holders of Treasuries for now. Japan – the second largest international holder of US debt after China – has said it thinks “there is no problem regarding the creditworthiness of US Treasuries and US government bonds will continue to be attractive assets.” Russian and Middle Eastern officials have said likewise. Read more

Central banks of the world, prepare to welcome a new addition to the family: the Gulf central bank.

Its leaders have just been announced by the new joint monetary council, in what will probably be seen as the inaugural meeting of the new joint central bank. Jurisdiction will cover Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. Reuters reports the bank chairman as Saudi central bank chief, Dr Muhammad Al-Jasser. His deputy will be Bahrain’s central bank chief Mr Qassim Mohammed Fakhro.

With leaders chosen, meetings underway and an ultimate head office location of Riyadh (see map), what more is required? “There are certain legislative and financial measures that have not been completed” for the monetary union, Kuwait central bank governor Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz Al-Sabah told a news conference. Today’s meeting is expected to approve plans and a timeframe for the new institution. Read more

Moody’s has raised Oman’s local and foreign currency government bond ratings to A1 from A2. The country ceiling for foreign currency bank deposits has also been lifted to A1 from A2 and the country ceiling for foreign currency bonds has been raised to Aa2 from Aa3. Oman’s local currency country ceilings remain at Aa2. The outlook on the ratings is stable.

“The main driver of today’s rating change is the comparative strength of Oman’s public finances within its rating peer group,” explained Tristan Cooper, a senior credit officer in Moody’s sovereign risk group. Read more