Kuwait Said Eyeing Major Borrowing Plan to Reduce Debt
Kuwait is getting set to borrow as much as $16 billion, apparently through the issuance of bonds, by the end of March 2021, which closes out the current fiscal year, according to the Reuters news agency. The plan is part of a debt law making its way through parliament that would allow the Gulf state to borrow as much as $65 billion over the next three decades. On Friday, Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings index reclassified its outlook for Kuwait’s economy from “stable” to “negative,” saying the country’s General Reserve Fund was too low to cover government deficits resulting from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as low oil prices. (Some reports have described the fund as empty.) A day after S&P’s announcement, Kuwait’s 91-year-old emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabar al-Sabah, was hospitalized for what official statements called “medical examinations.” On Sunday, he underwent unspecified surgery. Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah assumed some of the emir’s official duties on a temporary basis. After the emir was hospitalized, the governor of the country’s central bank issued a statement emphasizing that Kuwait’s dinar currency remained strong and stable.