Oman takes $3.55 bln China loan to cover budget deficit

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Oman on Wednesday announced it has taken out a $3.55-billion loan from Chinese banks to cover its budget deficit for the current fiscal year.

The sultanate had originally planned to raise $2 billion on the Chinese market but raised the amount because of strong demand, the finance ministry said.

It said Oman had previously raised $5 billion with a bond issue and another $2 billion in sukuk, or Islamic bonds.

The loans aim to cover the deficit in the 2017 budget, deputy finance minister Nasser al-Jishmi was quoted by the official news agency ONA as saying.

Oman, a non-OPEC producer which pumps a modest 1 million barrels per day, in January announced a deficit of $7.7 billion (3 billion riyals) and vowed to press on with an austerity program to combat the global slump in oil prices.

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