Kuwait Posts First-Half Surplus of $45 Billion: NBK Report

Kuwait posted a preliminary budget surplus of 12.6 billion dinars ($45 billion) in the first half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, National Bank of Kuwait SAK said, citing official data.

“This surplus is equivalent to 26 percent of annual 2012 GDP and is 3.8 billion dinars higher than the comparable period in the previous fiscal year,” Kuwait’s biggest bank said in an e-mailed report today.

Revenue was 16 billion dinars, including oil revenue of 15.4 billion dinars, which was 15 percent higher than revenue in the same period of the last fiscal year, NBK said. Spending in the six months to Sept. 30 was 3.4 billion dinars and “remains low for this time of the year, at just 16 percent of planned full-year expenditures,” the bank said. NBK projects a budget surplus this year of 12 billion dinars. Government spending “typically accelerates in the second half,” the bank said.

Kuwait posted a record budget surplus of 13.2 billion dinars in the 2011-2012 fiscal year as oil prices and output rose. Government revenue was 30.2 billion dinars, of which 10 percent was saved in the Reserve Fund for Future Generations.

The 2012-2013 budget has projected spending of 21.2 billion dinars and revenue of 13.9 billion dinars. The government said it will raise revenue allocations to its Future Generations Fund this fiscal year to 25 percent from 10 percent to “encourage saving.”

Kuwait is the fourth-biggest producer in the Organization of Exporting Countries and pumped 2.8 million barrels of oil a day in November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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