Kuwait fiscal reserves at 548 bln: report
(MENAFN - Arab Times) KUWAIT CITY Oct 26 (Agencies): The oil-rich Gulf state of Kuwait had accumulated reserves of $548 billion as of June 30 after continued growth in the first six months of 2014 a local daily reported Sunday. The reserves are invested in two state funds the State Reserve Fund with $149 billion and the Reserve Fund for Future Generations with $399 billion Al-Qabas newspaper said citing a report by the Audit Bureau Kuwait's state accounting watchdog.
Both funds are run by the Kuwait Investment Authority the country's sovereign wealth fund. The report said the reserves had increased by $15.7 billion in the first six months of the year. Kuwaiti authorities have not officially disclosed the amount of their reserves but estimates had put them at around $500 billion at the end of March this year. Kuwait which says it sits on around 10 percent of global crude reserves and pumps around three million barrels per day has posted a budget surplus in each of the past 15 fiscal years. Oil income makes up 94 percent of public revenues. Fund After first deducting 10 percent of revenues for its sovereign wealth fund that percentage was increased to 25 percent in the last two fiscal years. The tiny emirate has a native population of 1.25 million and is also home to about 2.8 million foreigners. The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) has decided to resume selling stakes in major local companies to the public planning to offer its stake in Kuwait Investment Co in the first half of 2015 state news agency KUNA reported last week. The KIA one of the world's largest sovereign funds with assets estimated at over $400 billion began offering stakes in listed Kuwaiti firms to the public in the 1990s as part of efforts to transfer more of the country's corporate wealth into private hands. But the programme has been interrupted by bouts of stock market weakness including a 2009-2012 slump in the wake of the global financial crisis. The market has regained some strength in the last 18 months. KIA owns 76.2 percent of Kuwait Investment Co a financial investment firm with a market capitalisation of $252 million according to Thomson Reuters data. It also owns 24.1 percent of Kuwait Finance House which has a capitalisation of $11.7 billion and 24.6 percent of telecommunications operator Zain with a capitalisation of $9.6 billion. Those stakes will be offered to the public at a later time KUNA quoted the KIA as saying. In its statement the KIA also pledged to continue supporting the local stock market by reinvesting money that it raises from the share sales in investment products and funds KUNA reported.
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