Can Kuwait help Dubai?
Kuwait has offered to help the UAE financially with Dubai’s debt woes. But is Kuwait in a position to lend a hand?
December 16, 2009 3:29 by Aarti Nagraj
According to the National Bank of Kuwait, the country may see a budget surplus of up to KD6.6 billion this year thanks to higher-than-expected oil prices.
“The price of Kuwait Export Crude averages between $66 and $69 per barrel in 2009-2010, nearly double the $35 per barrel assumed by the government in its budget. If, as expected, public expenditures come in at 5 to 10 percent below the budget plans, we estimate that the government will see another large budget surplus of between KD5.3bn and KD6.6bn this year, before allocating 10 percent of revenues to the Reserve Fund for Future Generations,” a report from the bank said.
Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, Kuwait’s oil and information minister said earlier this week that the country is planning to spend KD25 billion ($87 billion) on oil projects until 2030. The projects include building a new oil refinery, he said.
The Kuwaiti sovereign fund, Kuwait Investment Authority sold its $4.1 billion stake in Citigroup earlier this month, reportedly making a profit of $1.1 billion from the sale. “The exit of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) from its stake in Citigroup for $4.1 billion was not due to any dispute between the two parties but it was an opportunistic investment,” Mustapha al-Shamali, Kuwait’s finance minister told al-Rai newspaper.
With revenues coming in, and estimates of the economy improving in the coming future, it seems like Kuwait could have stuck to its promise.