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Kuwait to borrow more from international market

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Author: AFPWed, 2017-04-05 03:00ID: 1491338579522306100KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait will increase its borrowing on international markets to plug a budget deficit resulting from low oil prices, the finance minister said on Tuesday.The move comes after the Gulf state raised $8 billion (€7.5 billion) last month in its first international bond issue.“We will continue to be present in the international (debt) market but in a prudent, rational way,” Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh told reporters at the Kuwait Financial Forum (KFF).“We will use all instruments, including bonds and (Islamic) sukuks. This will go side by side with enforcing reforms,” he said.After registering a healthy surplus for 16 consecutive years, the Gulf state posted its first budget shortfall of $15 billion in the 2015-2016 fiscal year following a slump in oil prices. Kuwait projected a deficit of $29 billion in the 12 months to March 31. The country is expecting a deficit of some $21.6 billion for the next fiscal year. On top of its international bond sales, Al-Saleh said the government had raised domestic debt worth 2.2 billion dinars ($7.2 billion) in 2016-2017.The government also withdrew unspecified amounts from its reserves, estimated at $600 billion, to meet the budget deficit.Al-Saleh said the government put forward a bill allowing the state to borrow up to 20 billion dinars ($65.5 billion) over the next five years.Like other countries in the Gulf region, oil-rich Kuwait has seen its main revenue stream hit hard by a prolonged drop in crude prices.
Main category: Business & Economy

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