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Kuwait income plunges over oil price slump

[KUWAIT CITY] Kuwait's revenues dropped by one fifth in the first 11 months of the fiscal year due to the decline in global oil prices, according to figures released by the finance ministry Thursday.

Revenues of the OPEC member reached 23.2 billion dinars (S$105 billion) until the end of February from to 28.9 billion dinars in the same period last year - a fall of 19.7 per cent.

The decline is mainly due to a 27.4 per cent dive in oil revenues from 27 billion dinars last year to 21.2 billion dinars.

Oil income still represented 91.4 per cent of total public income.

Oil lost around 60 per cent of its value since June due to oversupply, with a strong dollar and a weak global economy dampening demand.

Price of Kuwaiti oil averaged well above US$100 a barrel last fiscal year but is currently hovering around US$50.

Kuwait's fiscal year runs from April through March. Revenue figures for March have not yet been published.

Despite the sharp drop in revenues, the Gulf state posted a provisional budget surplus of 9.9 billion dinars and it is expected to end the year with a windfall for the 16th consecutive year.

Kuwait calculated the price of oil last fiscal year at US$75 a barrel but reduced the figure to US$45 a barrel in the current 2015/2016 fiscal year, which began Wednesday.

As a result, the emirate is projecting a deficit of US$24 billion.

Sustained surpluses since 2000 have boosted fiscal reserves of the country's sovereign wealth fund to around US$550 billion, according to unofficial estimates.


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