USD100M increase in capital for Oman Brunei Investment Co

Azlan Othman

The State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) have agreed to increase the capital of Oman Brunei Investment Company (OBIC) by another USD100 million, 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) between the ministries of foreign affairs of the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam, in Muscat on December 9.

SGRF Executive President Abdulsalam Mohammed Al Murshidi signed on behalf of SGRF, while Acting Managing Director of BIA and Chairman of OBIC Haji Sofian bin Haji Mohammad Jani signed on behalf of BIA.

Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof, Secretary-General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al-Busaidi, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashel bin Rashed bin Hashel Al-Maskari, and Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the Sultanate of Oman Haji Sulaini bin Haji Said witnessed the signing.

Abdulsalam Mohammed Al Murshidi said, “OBIC has invested in nine projects in the Sultanate of Oman since its establishment 10 years ago. Among the most important of these projects are Kempinski Hotel, located Al Mouj-Muscat; the European Hospital being built in Al Ghubra; and the desalination plant in Sohar. The company has successfully exited three investments so far, making good profits in all of them.

SGRF Executive President Abdulsalam Mohammed Al Murshidi and Acting Managing Director of BIA and Chairman of OBIC Haji Sofian bin Haji Mohammad Jani during the signing ceremony.

“This year we are pleased that OBIC has acquired (50 per cent) share of Golden Corporation Sdn Bhd (GC), a company that specialises in fish farming, in addition to providing high-quality seafood products, based in Brunei Darussalam. This was OBIC first investment in Brunei.”

Sofian said, “We are pleased with the cooperation between SGRF and BIA. The signing of the agreement is the icing on the cake for Oman-Brunei bilateral cooperation in the field of investment and related fields. Hence, OBIC with its diversified portfolio of investments in many sectors can be viewed as a shining example of joint investments between the sovereign funds in both countries.”

Haji Sofian also applauded OBIC’s successful investments over the past decade, and expressed optimism that the company will continue making the most of business opportunities in the two countries’ local markets, to further boost economic development in Oman and Brunei and contribute to the two friendly countries economic diversification plans.

OBIC is a private equity company jointly capitalised by SGRF of Oman (50 per cent) and BIA (50 per cent).

OBIC was established in 2009, after the two governments of the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a Joint Investment Fund during His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s visit to the Sultanate of Oman the same year. OBIC invests in private equity of high-growing sectors through acquisition, or by investing in existing companies or starting new projects.

OBIC’s shareholders have injected capital in line with the fund’s investment deployment over the year, with the company’s cumulative amounting USD100 million. The majority of these funds were deployed between 2014 and 2018. To enhance its portfolio and increase its investment base, OBIC shareholders approved to increase authorised capital by USD100 million.