In order to keep pace with international developments and to enable the Government’s vision of a solid economy that will be recognized internationally it is necessary to have a strong financial sector based on well-established financial firms. A strong financial sector will also facilitate a suitable environment for successful companies and projects that will add value to the economic cycle.
In order to realize these objectives a stock exchange called Muscat Securities Market (MSM) was set up according to Royal Decree 53/88 that was issued on 21 June 1988. The decree set the legal framework for the establishment of the market as an independent organization to regulate and control the Omani securities market and to participate with other organizations in setting up the infrastructure of the Sultanate’s financial sector
After ten years of continuous growth in the market and national economic activities in general, and to cope with new developments in the financial sector, both locally and internationally, especially in the securities industry, there was a need for better control and regulation of market activities so as to afford more protection to investors. To achieve this it was necessary to split the functions of regulation and market activities both of which were until then functions of the MSM. The existing laws and regulations were amended to bring our market closer to international standards of practice, where the norm is to have an independent regulator which is the regulating authority over the exchange and market participants.
The MSM has been restructured by the issue of two Royal Decrees 80/98 and 82/98.
Royal Decree 80/98 dated November 9th, 1998 issuing the new Capital Market Law provided for the establishment of two separate entities:
1)A regulator, to be named The Capital Market Authority (CMA), which will be a governmental authority responsible for organizing and overseeing the issue and trading of securities in the Sultanate; and
2)An exchange, to be named the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) where all listed securities shall be traded. The exchange shall also be a governmental entity, financially and administratively independent from the authority but subject to its supervision. The board of directors shall be elected from among members of public (governmental commercially oriented) corporations, listed companies, intermediaries, and the Central Bank of Oman.
3)Royal Decree 82/98 dated November 25th, 1998, establishing the Muscat Clearing & Depository Company, provided for the establishment of a closed joint stock company as the sole provider, in the Sultanate, of the services of registration and transfer of ownership of securities and safe keeping of ownership documents (depository). This company is linked through an electronic system to the MSM for easy data transfer.
Thus the securities industry in Oman was well established to develop confidence in investors by developing and improving all the process related to the stock market.
As a continuing process in the development of the securities market, the Capital Market Authority has developed its website to provide information and financial data related to the performance of the Muscat Securities Market and all listed companies directly to investors. This will not only ensure transparency of activities which is considered one of the main principles of a well organized market, but will also support the market by encouraging investors to make the right investment decision at the right time.