Kuwait posts rare bud­get deficit

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

LOWER oil prices have pushed Kuwait into a rare bud­get deficit, end­ing 16 straight years of sur­pluses for the en­ergy-rich Gulf state, the fi­nance min­is­ter said.

The OPEC mem­ber recorded a bud­get short­fall of 4.6 bil­lion di­nars (US$15.3 bil­lion) in the fis­cal year which ended on March 31, Anas alSaleh said in a state­ment.

It was the first short­fall since the fis­cal year to March 1999.

Rev­enues dropped by 45 per­cent to $45.2 bil­lion while spend­ing was cut by 14.8pc to $60.5 bil­lion, the min­is­ter said. Oil in­come was $40.1 bil­lion, a slump of 46.3pc from the pre­vi­ous year, he said. Oil ac­counted for 89pc of to­tal rev­enues, down from 95pc in pre­vi­ous years.

Mr Anas told par­lia­ment last month that Kuwait plans to tap in­ter­na­tional debt mar­kets through bond is­sues to fi­nance the deficit.

He said the emi­rate would bor­row up to $10 bil­lion in US-de­nom­i­nated bonds from in­ter­na­tional mar­kets, in both con­ven­tional and (Is­lamic) sukuk is­suance.

The min­istry will bor­row an­other $6.6 bil­lion in both con­ven­tional and Is­lamic in­stru­ments from the do­mes­tic mar­ket, Mr Saleh said. –

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