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Kuwait plans billions of dollars of bonds in current fiscal year

Kuwait plans billions of dollars of bonds in current fiscal year

The country posted a $15bn fiscal deficit for the year ending March 31

Kuwait plans to issue billions of dollars worth on bonds on international marks before the end of its current fiscal year on March 31, according to reports.

Al-Qabas newspaper cited the country’s finance minister, Anas Al-Saleh, as saying the country would issue US-dollar denominated sovereign bonds worth up to $9.6bn in the 2016/2017 fiscal year.

The country has is also embarking on a $6.6bn domestic debt programme.

The bond programme follows record issuances from Kuwait’s Gulf peers Saudi Arabia and Qatar earlier this year as the region tackles oil-linked budget deficits.

Last month, Saudi conducted the largest-ever emerging market bond sale worth $17.5bn.

Read: Saudi sets record with mammoth $17.5bn bond issue

This followed the Middle East’s then largest issuance from Qatar in May, which sold $9bn of Eurobonds.

Read: Qatar completes Middle East’s largest ever bond sale

Kuwait’s plans would mean its first foreign debt issuance in roughly two decades.

The country has fared better than some of its Gulf peers during the recent slump in oil prices, but still posted a $15bn budget deficit for the year ending March 31, 2016.

Oil income made up around 95 per cent of public revenues in previous years.

The country has embarked on a number of measures to cut spending, including reduced water, electricity and petrol subsidies.

However, the plans have drawn criticism from the country’s parliament, which was dissolved last month following disputes with the government over fuel price increases.

Read: Kuwait ruler dissolves parliament

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