Kuwait Mulls Privatization of Oil Sector

Kuwait Mulls Privatization of Oil Sector

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Finance and state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation are seeking to privatize the oil services sector as a part of the state’s privatization program, reported Kuwait Times. Undersecretary, Khalifa Hamada, affirmed in a news conference that these moves are to focus on oil service companies and not to include the OPEC member’s production capability, according to Reuters.

Hamada did not set a specific date for the privatization plan, however, he said that the Kuwaiti programs aim at offering the shares to the citizens and thus strengthen their role and the private sector contribution to reduce the load on the state budget. He added: “This move may be like the Saudi offering of a percentage of Aramco shares. Oil prices have dropped and indicators show the slump may last five more years. These forecasts are by most financial bodies including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, who expect oil prices will not exceed $50 a barrel, so we have adopted our reforms based on these figures.”

Hamada also revealed that Kuwait is planning to issue international bonds worth $9.94b before the end of the year. The ministry of finance is coordinating with the Kuwait Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, on the bond plans and will begin negotiations with external parties such as advisers in September.


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