Omani inflation slowed to a four year low of 1.8 percent in July, the economy ministry said yesterday, without giving a breakdown of the consumer price index. The inflation rate fell from 2.9 percent in June, the ministry said on its Web site. Inflation in the Sultanate was last below 1.8 percent in August 2005, according to data compiled from the ministry. (Source)
It's odd how inflation is going down, yet somehow grocery costs are still going up here. Hmmmm.
Well at least rents are not getting any worse, and, as some readers of this blog may of read recently - my landlord decided not to increase my rent this year - phew!
And, item number 2:
Oman is renewing efforts to privatise its electricity sector, after the world financial crisis and lower oil prices delayed the programme and pushed the country’s budget into deficit. Muscat, which 15 years ago became the first Gulf Arab state to allow private investors to develop power plants, in 2006 set a target of selling off all government stakes in electricity projects by this year. But buyers did not step forward as quickly as expected. Now, facing an expected 15 per cent annual increase in its power requirements until 2020, the sultanate plans to increase its electrical generating capacity and strengthen its power grid with 3 billion rials (US$7.8bn) of new projects to be built over the next six years. It hopes private-sector investors will help it foot the bill. (Source)
So I guess all those GE turbines are going to be paid for by some non-Omani companies. Well, I should hazard a guess that unless it's the suppliers (GE in this case) or another Gulf Arab State company, I cant really see the financial benefit of anyone investing into this market. And at the same time it's a constantly rising bill that the Government has to foot each year, so no wonder they want to get shot of it!
The only real method for adequate power generation here in the desert is Nuclear. License it from the French, they're pretty handy with their nuclear power generation. The Americans might even go along with it too, although I'm sure our good friends accross the pond, Iran, might not be too pleased about such a development. Burning hydro-carbons to fuel the nations soaring power requirements is like shooting itself in the foot. Much better to convice Jean-Paul and his chums to come on down and build a nuclear power station or two, and of course operate it and so on and so forth. And Oman are currently in the early stages of building coal fired power stations, to come on stream in 2015. Where's the coal going to come from?
According to the Times of Oman, 9 people have now died as a result of H1N1 here in Oman. (Source) Funny, that. Fellow Omani blogger (with a slight obsession with cows) Dhofari Gucci has been mentioning here and there of poor people who have died down in Salalah. It seem evident that the official numbers do not seem to tally with the unofficial numbers. Hmmm.
Blue City. Well I guess I should share the news here with you all. Blue City's bonds were successfully purchased by Essdar Capital. It is unclear exactly how many of the bonds were purchased, but the news release does not say they purchased all the bonds, just those that were tendered prior to the Expiration Time. I guess time will tell if the money taps are turned back on, but from what I can tell, there is a lot of work under way on site, so good news - I think. More on that soon.
On a final note, the roads are now busier. School started. I think I can hear a collective sigh of relief from parents around town. Unfortunately it now means my 5 minute commute has become a rather unsavoury 8 minute commute. Life can be so hard sometimes ;)