Bahrain looks to cut costs to help cut budget deficit

Bahrain will focus on “stringent” cost controls to help cut its budget deficit, according to the country’s finance minister. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Updated 11 February 2019
0

Bahrain looks to cut costs to help cut budget deficit

LONDON: Bahrain will focus on “stringent” cost controls to help cut its budget deficit, according to the country’s finance minister.
Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, minister of finance and national economy, told Bloomberg Television that Bahrain will also use investment to stimulate growth.
“It is important to ensure we maintain spend where that spend drives economic growth, creates jobs or provides essential services or subsidies while at the same time ensuring we revisit any areas of operational expenditure where we can put more pressure,” Sheikh Salman said.
Bahrain reduced its deficit by 35 percent last year and plans to balance its books by 2022.
Cutting the deficit is one requirement of a $10 billion aid package pledged by neighbors, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Like other regional economies, Bahrain has been hit hard by plummeting oil prices.


Norway oil firms lower 2019 investment forecast

Updated 21 min 8 sec ago
0

Norway oil firms lower 2019 investment forecast

  • Investment forecasts for 2019 lowered to $20.06 billion
  • Several plans for development and operation (PDOs) expected to be submitted

OSLO: Oil and gas companies operating in Norway have lowered their investment forecasts for 2019 to 172.7 billion crowns ($20.06 billion) from 175.3 billion crowns seen in November, a survey by the country’s statistics agency (SSB) showed on Thursday.
In 2020, investments are expected to fall to 158.5 billion crowns according to initial forecasts, but the forecasts could be revised upwards in the months to come, it added.
“Several plans for development and operation (PDOs) are expected to be submitted to the government in both 2019 and 2020,” the agency said in a statement.
“If the schedules for these plans are realized, the accumulated investment costs in 2020 from these projects will increase the investment in field development compared to the present estimate.”
Norway’s oil and gas investments have rebounded from a sharp fall as rising crude prices and cost cuts lift industry activity. It was SSB’s fourth release of companies’ forecasts for 2019 and the first for 2020.
Equinor is Norway’s largest oil firm.