Kuwait raises 07/08 surplus forecast



Kuwait has raised its 2007/08 budget surplus forecast to more than KWD10 billion on the back of higher revenues due to record oil prices, the latest government data showed.

 

The Middle East's fourth largest oil exporter is expecting a surplus of KWD10.47 billion (Dh133bn) after 11 months of its fiscal year to March, according to the data obtained by Reuters on Monday.

 

The Gulf Arab state predicted in February a surplus of KWD9.545 billion based on 10 months of the fiscal year.

 

Revenues surged to KWD17.03 billion after eleven months, compared to KWD15.35 billion a month ago. The government initially forecast only KWD8.3 billion, but based the budget on a conservative oil price average of $36 per barrel.

 

Oil rose to a record near $112 on Monday.

 

Kuwait's total expenditures were KWD6.56 billion after 11 months, about half the initial projection of KWD11.3 billion, the data showed.

 

The surplus is invested by state-run Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), which had at least $213 billion (Dh782bn) in assets under management on March 31 2006, according to official figures.

 

Kuwait invests 10 per cent of its budget in a future generation budget, a nest egg for the time when its vast oil resources will dry up.

 

After the nest egg payment, the 2007/08 surplus will be KWD8.77 billion, according to the data. The government had originally forecast a deficit of KWD3.8 billion when parliament passed the budget in July. (Reuters)

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