BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Oman Brunei Investment Company (OBIC) has increased funds by US$100 million, bringing its total capital to US$200 million to enhance its portfolio and increase its investment base.

The Oman embassy in Brunei Tuesday announced in a press release that Oman’s State General Reserve Fund and Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) have signed an agreement to increase the funds for the joint venture.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 19th Bilateral Consultative Meeting that took place between the two countries in Muscat on Monday.

Oman said part of the additional capital will be invested in Brunei and OBIC has identified education, agriculture, food and services as new sectors to be explored.

On November 28, OBIC marked its first investment in Brunei when it acquired a 50 percent share of aquaculture company Golden Corporation.

The investment company was formed in 2009 with both governments holding a 50 per cent stake. OBIC invests in high-growing sectors through acquisition or by investing in existing companies or starting new projects.

The statement added that OBIC’s shareholders have injected cumulative capital amounting to US$100 million, with the majority of these funds deployed between 2014 and 2018.

OBIC has invested in nine projects in Oman since its establishment 10 years ago, said executive president of Oman’s State General Reserve Fund Abdulsalam Mohammed Al Murshidi. The projects include Kempinski Hotel in Al Mouj-Muscat; the water desalination plant in Sohar and a hospital currently being built in Al Ghubra.

“The company has successfully exited three investments so far, making good profits in all of them,” he added.

Acting Managing Director of BIA and Chairman of OBIC Sofian Mohammad Jani described the signing of the agreement as “icing on the cake for Oman-Brunei bilateral cooperation”.

In the statement, he expressed optimism that the company will continue making the most of business opportunities in the two countries to boost economic development and contribute to the countries’ economic diversification plans.