(Adds statements by companies, context)
DUBAI, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Oman’s telecommunications companies will pay a royalty to the government of 12 percent of revenues in 2017, the country’s Capital Market Authority said in a bourse statement on Thursday, citing a letter from the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority.
That is an increase from the current 7 per cent royalty paid by Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) and Ooredoo Oman , the companies said in bourse statements.
The CMA said Oman’s cabinet had decided to lift the rate for next year. Its state revenues strained by low oil prices, the government has been looking for ways to increase its income.
Omantel said a rate of 12 percent would have cost the company an additional 16 million rials ($41.6 million) in the first nine months of this year. It made a net profit of 95.1 million rials in that period.
Ooredoo Oman, majority owned by Qatar’s Ooredoo, said the higher rate would have cost it 8.7 million rials over the same period, or 23.3 percent of its net income. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Additional reporting by Fatma Alarimi in Muscat; Editing by Andrew Torchia)