Thursday, 28 October 2021

Kuwait scrambles to boost coffers with up to $16 billion debt plan

WAM

DUBAI: Kuwait plans to issue between 4 billion and 5 billion dinars ($13 billion to $16 billion) in public debt by the end of the fiscal year ending March 2021 if parliament approves a long-debated debt law, a government document seen by Reuters showed.

Facing one of the worst economic crunches in the oil-exporting Gulf region, Kuwait is scrambling to boost state coffers badly hit by the coronavirus crisis and low crude prices, rapidly depleting its General Reserve Fund (GRF) to plug a budget deficit.

A parliamentary committee is due to vote on the law – which would allow Kuwait to tap international debt markets – on Sunday ahead of putting it to the elected assembly for approval.

Legislators have been requesting more visibility from the state about use of the funds and repayment mechanisms given the government’s heavy reliance on oil income.

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