Kuwait budget deficit hits record $35.5bn

Kuwait budget deficit hits record $35.5bn
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Updated 11 November 2021

Kuwait budget deficit hits record $35.5bn

Kuwait budget deficit hits record $35.5bn

RIYADH: Kuwait recorded a deficit of 10.8 billion dinars ($35.5 billion) in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, a surge of 174.8 percent, which is the highest budget deficit in the country's history, according to a report by the Kuwaiti Finance Ministry.

Revenues amounted to 10.5 billion dinars in the fiscal year ended in March 31, a decrease of 39 percent from the previous year, while spending amounted to 21.3 billion dinars, an increase of 0.7 percent.

In June, the Kuwaiti parliament approved the 2021-2022 budget proposed by the government in January, which forecasted spending of 23.05 billion dinars and a deficit of 12 billion dinars.  

The Ministry said that oil revenues fell 42.8 percent in 2020-21 to 8.8 billion dinars, while other revenues fell 6.5 percent to 1.7 billion dinars.  

“The deficit is due to the sharp drop in oil prices and the curtailment of government activities to a minimum as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," Finance Minister Khalifa Hamadeh said.

“The government is fully prepared to move forward with implementing more realistic solutions to develop public finances,” he added.

Hamadeh said that increased oil revenues due to higher oil prices did not cover the state's budget obligations, and that Kuwait would need oil prices at $90 a barrel to adjust the budget.


NRG Matters: DEWA expands its energy production capacity; Germany cuts natural gas consumption by 35% in May

NRG Matters: DEWA expands its energy production capacity; Germany cuts natural gas consumption by 35% in May
Updated 20 sec ago

NRG Matters: DEWA expands its energy production capacity; Germany cuts natural gas consumption by 35% in May

NRG Matters: DEWA expands its energy production capacity; Germany cuts natural gas consumption by 35% in May

RIYADH: On a macro level, Germany reduced consumption of natural gas by 35 percent in May. Zooming in, Dubai’s DEWA added 700MW of energy production capacity, to reach a total of 14,117 MW. 

Looking at the bigger picture

  • Germany has reduced its consumption of natural gas by 35 percent during the first five months of 2022, compared to the same period last year, Bloomberg reported citing an industry lobby group. Only part of the drop was due to a milder winter, it added. 

Through a micro lens:

  • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has added 700 MW of energy production capacity, to reach a total of 14,117 MW, according to the Dubai Media Office. 

This includes 600 MW from the Hassyan Power Complex, which runs on natural gas, and 100 MW from photovoltaic solar panels at the 5th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park, which DEWA is implementing.

  • The Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority has issued a construction license to build the first reactor at Al Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant, according to a statement.

On Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, the El Dabaa site is 320 km west of Cairo. The plant will comprise four VVER-1200 units, like those already in operation at the Leningrad and Novovoronezh nuclear power plants in Russia, and the Ostrovets nuclear power plant in Belarus.


TRSDC signs first JV worth $400m with Al Mutlaq Group

TRSDC signs first JV worth $400m with Al Mutlaq Group
Updated 10 min 19 sec ago

TRSDC signs first JV worth $400m with Al Mutlaq Group

TRSDC signs first JV worth $400m with Al Mutlaq Group

RIYADH: The Red Sea Development Co. has signed a joint venture agreement worth SR1.5 billion ($400 million) with Almutlaq Real Estate Investment Co., a subsidiary of the Al Mutlaq Group. 

Under the agreement, the two companies will develop the Jumeirah Red Sea, a 159-key luxury resort situated on The Red Sea destination’s hub island, Shura, currently under construction and expected to open in early 2024. 

The island forms part of the first phase of development, and will comprise 11 luxury, premium and lifestyle hotels and resorts, residential units, a championship golf course, 118 berth marina, and a comprehensive retail, dining, and entertainment offering.

The strategic partnership marks the first JV established by TRSDC.

“This joint venture investment reinforces the private sector’s alignment with our commitment to regenerative tourism and sustainable development. Our project naturally lends itself to promising business opportunities, with the ability to leverage the Kingdom’s key strategic assets, and drive economic growth and diversification as outlined by Vision 2030,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC. 

“We are extremely pleased to partner with TRSDC and its best-in-class management team on this exciting and compelling project. We have been studying the giga-projects for some time, and the Red Sea is achieving its vision. The destination is coming to life, and we look forward to welcoming our first guests in 2024,” said Tariq Almutlaq, chairman of AREIC.

Investors’ interest

TRSDC is in discussions with several other investors under a similar framework to invest in The Red Sea Project’s commercial assets, including hotels and resorts, leisure, and retail and dining experiences. Moreover, AMAALA and additional soon-to-be-announced projects in the developer’s expanding portfolio bring with them additional opportunities for investors.

“We are attracting an abundance of third-party investment interest, particularly those focused on ESG who are confident that this is an exciting opportunity and one that they do not want to miss out on,” said Jay Rosen, chief financial officer at TRSDC.

Green financing

The announcement follows TRSDC achieving financial close on its SR14.120 billion ($3.76 billion) green financing earlier this year with four leading Saudi banks (Banque Saudi Fransi, Riyad Bank, Saudi British Bank, and Saudi National Bank). As the first-ever riyal denominated green financing, TRSDC was acknowledged with an award for Project Finance Deal of Year in the Capital Markets Saudi Arabia Awards 2021 plus the Best New Green Loan Financing Project Award at the International Finance Awards 2022.

The Red Sea Project has demonstrated significant progress on the ground, with Phase-1 now more than 50 percent complete and several key assets already fully operational, including a four-star management hotel, on-site offices, and the largest landscape nursery in the region.

TRSDC and AMAALA have awarded over 1,000 contracts worth in excess of SR25 billion. Work is on track to welcome the first guests in early 2023, when the first hotels will open, with the balance of phase one set to complete by early 2024.


Fuel, feedstock prices for Saudi industrial sector to be adjusted from Q4 of 2023

Fuel, feedstock prices for Saudi industrial sector to be adjusted from Q4 of 2023
Updated 13 min 49 sec ago

Fuel, feedstock prices for Saudi industrial sector to be adjusted from Q4 of 2023

Fuel, feedstock prices for Saudi industrial sector to be adjusted from Q4 of 2023

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has decided to adjust the fuel and feedstock prices for the industrial sector from the fourth quarter of 2023, according to a ministry statement to companies.

The prices will be reviewed annually until 2030, it stated.

Price adjustment policy will be applicable to natural gas products, Arab heavy crude oil, ethane, heavy fuel oil, and Arab light crude oil.


UAE-Based Filipino businesswoman receives Presidential Award

UAE-Based Filipino businesswoman receives Presidential Award
Updated 03 July 2022

UAE-Based Filipino businesswoman receives Presidential Award

UAE-Based Filipino businesswoman receives Presidential Award
  • Pamana ng Pilipino Award, given to Dr. Karen Remo, is awarded to Filipinos overseas who have brought honor to the country through the excellence of their work

LONDON: Dr. Karen Remo, a business leader based in the UAE, has received the Presidential Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Philippine government on Filipinos overseas.

Dr. Remo is the CEO and Managing Director of The Filipino Times and New Perspective Media Group.Founded by Dr. Remo in 2013, The Filipino Times has become the Middle East's largest digital news portal for Filipinos and the UAE's largest free newspaper.She was one of 17 recipients chosen for the "Pamana ng Pilipino Award".  It is given to Filipinos overseas who, by exemplifying Filipino talent and industry, have brought honor and recognition to the country through the excellence of their work.

The award was presented by the Secretary and Chairperson of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Justice Francisco Acosta, on behalf of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

“In conferring the Pamana ng Pilipino Award to Dr. Karen Remo, the President recognizes her ability to lead, inspire, and influence Filipinos from all over the world while proving that women can be a pioneer in the field of business,” according to the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organisations (PAFIOO) Awards Committee.

“Dr. Remo continues to be an inspiring entrepreneur and community leader in the Middle East. She has not only earned the respect of Filipinos and the multinational expat professionals in Dubai but also inspired many women to pursue their careers in business,” the statement continued.

A report by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) also commended Dr. Remo's contribution to strengthening economic and social ties between the UAE and the Philippines. “Playing such an important role in the media industry, she fosters a positive relationship between the UAE and the Philippines. Her position has also allowed her to put Filipinos on the center stage.” it noted

The Philippine Ambassador to the UAE, Hjayceelyn Quintana also endorsed the nomination. “Dr. Remo comes from a community of an estimated one million Filipinos in the UAE. To be a cut above the rest means that the impact of her achievements in the host country is a source of pride for Filipinos not only in the UAE but in the Middle East region as a whole.” Quintana said.

"It is an honor to receive such a prestigious recognition and I am very grateful to the Office of the President, CFO, and the PAFIOO Awards Committee for this award. I have been privileged to work with and help many clients – both in the government and private sectors – in the Mena and Asia-Pacific regions” Dr. Remo said.

“I am very thankful to our readers and followers who always support and challenge us to do better. It was their trust and support that gave me this opportunity to showcase the passion and dedication of every team member in the NPM Group of companies to be of service and to make a difference.” she continued.


Egypt In-Focus — Startups raise $269.1m in H1; Abu Dhabi Ports Group acquires 70% equity stake in Egyptian firms

Egypt In-Focus — Startups raise $269.1m in H1; Abu Dhabi Ports Group acquires 70% equity stake in Egyptian firms
Updated 03 July 2022

Egypt In-Focus — Startups raise $269.1m in H1; Abu Dhabi Ports Group acquires 70% equity stake in Egyptian firms

Egypt In-Focus — Startups raise $269.1m in H1; Abu Dhabi Ports Group acquires 70% equity stake in Egyptian firms

RIYADH: Egyptian startups succeeded in raising a total of $269.1 million in funding in the first half of 2022, according to local media reports.

As of June 2022, around 35 startups in Egypt pulled together $269.1 million in the fintech and ecommerce sectors this year, Daily News Egypt reported.

During the first two months, Brimor and Thunder were responsible for the bulk of funds attained in January and February respectively.

March saw the highest volume when 9 startups raised $78.95 million.

In addition, three considerable deals further added to March’s ranking where Khazna, Lucky and Naqla raised $38 million, $25 million and $10.5 million respectively.

April saw a drop in finances, whereas May regenerated the funds with PayMob’s $50 million deal leading the way and June saw three deals worth $4.5 million.

Abu Dhabi Ports Group acquires stake in two firms 

Abu Dhabi Ports Group reached an agreement to acquire a 70 percent equity stake in International Associated Cargo Carrier BV, which wholly owns two Egypt-based maritime companies, Transmar International Shipping Company and Transcargo International, Asharq Alwsat reported.

The total purchase consideration of this transaction amounts to 514 million  dirhams ($140 million).

The acquisition will be fully funded from AD Ports Group’s existing cash reserves, which stood at over 3 billion dirhams as of March 31.

It is the first international acquisition realized by AD Ports Group.

Transmar is a regional container shipping company that operates across the Middle East, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf and Eastern Coast of Africa. In 2021, Transmar handled 109,000 twenty-foot equivalent units.

TCI is a terminal operator and stevedoring company, mainly operating out of the Adabiya Port, where it is the exclusive container operator. Its two lines of business are container and bulk cargo services. In 2021, TCI handled 92,000 TEUs and 1.2 million tons of bulk cargo.