Kuwait foreign assets rise to $277 billion
Kuwait, June 5, 2010
The foreign assets of Kuwait swelled to $277 billion at the end of the fiscal year to March 31, up from $238 billion a year earlier, said a top official.
The assets are held in two state-owned funds, the Reserve Fund for Future Generations (RFFG) whose assets grew to $220 billion on March 31, up on $196 billion the previous year.
The second fund is the General State Reserve with $57 billion at the end of the last fiscal year, up from $42 billion, Al Jarida newspaper said.
Finance Minister Mustafa Al Shamali recently gave a briefing on Kuwait's financial position to parliament at a secret session, said a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
Kuwaiti foreign investments, which were estimated to have soared to a record $300 billion in 2008, were severely affected by the global economic crisis.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development said in a report that Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund assets shrank by $94 billion last year due to the economic meltdown. But Kuwait Investment Authority denied the report without providing any figures.
By law, 10 per cent of Kuwait's total income is transferred into the RFFG every year regardless of whether the budget is in surplus or deficit.
Kuwait has posted a budget surplus in each of the past 11 fiscal years, amounting to around $140 billion. – TradeArabia News Service