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Oman pledges more funds to IMF to help fight Eurozone debt crisis

Saturday, 21 January 2012 | 00:00
Oman will raise its contribution to the International Monetary Fund's war chest to fight the Eurozone debt crisis, its central bank head said, the first sign that Arab states will contribute to the effort.
"Our percentage is very small. We might be doubling that," Hamoud Sangour Al Zadjali told Reuters at a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) central banks and European Central Bank governors in Abu Dhabi. "But whatever the increase, we are going to participate."
The IMF wants to raise $600 billion (Dh2.2 trillion) to bolster its resources for dealing with the financing needs of countries hit by the Eurozone debt crisis.
Oman's contribution represents 0.10 per cent of total member funding to the IMF, compared to 2.94 per cent for regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia and 17.7 per cent for the US, the biggest contributor.
Gulf central bankers met in Abu Dhabi yesterday and comments by policymakers on the sidelines may shed more light on the contribution of the region's bigger players.
Countries such as Britain, China and Australia said they were ready to inject new funds into the IMF, either through bigger quotas or through additional money for the IMF's New Agreements to Borrow (NAB) crisis fund.
"I think they [the IMF] will do it proportionately according to the membership share," Al Zadjali, the executive president of the Omani central bank, said. "Maybe some of the countries will have a higher percentage than the others. But they have the formula and the amount each country can put in."
Al Zadjouli said he expected growth of Oman's real gross domestic product to ease slightly to 6 per cent this year from 7 per cent in 2011 while inflation is projected to be around 4 per cent.
The small non-Opec crude exporter has kept a loose monetary policy stance since early 2009 as inflation eased from the double-digit rates of the oil-boom of 2008.
Social unrest due to the Arab Spring protests across the Arab world last year prompted the Omani government to boost spending by nearly 14 per cent in 2011.
• 0.10%: Oman's contribution to total IMF funding
• 2.94%: Saudi Arabia's contribution to the IMF
• 17.7%: US contribution to the IMF
Source: Gulf News
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