Oman sovereign fund buys into Spanish defence supplier

Fighter jet missileThe State General Reserve Fund, the largest sovereign wealth fund in Oman, has acquired a 32% stake in a Spanish manufacturer of precision components for aerospace and defense.

The fund is investing in Madrid-based Mecanizados Escribano through a combination of equity purchase and a capital increase to fund new development.

As part of the partnership, the Spanish firm will set up an operation in Oman called Escribano Middle East in which the Oman National Investment Development Company will hold a 30% share.

“The agreement is to replicate Mecanizados Escribano’s business model in Oman, in respect to machining capabilities and technologies,” said Abdulsalam Al Murshidi, executive president of the State General Reserve Fund. “This will no doubt help create a lot of needed job opportunities and train our national cadres to work in this booming sector.”

The deal reflects a trend for Gulf states to develop domestic manufacturing capacity in the defence sector. Saudi Arabia has similarly committed to producing half its military needs domestically as part of the country’s Vision 2030 plan.

The wealth of Oman’s State General Reserve Fund has been estimated at $34 billion by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, a US-based consultancy.

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