By Ulf Laessing
Kuwait has confirmed a preliminary budget surplus of 9.82 billion dinars despite falling crude oil prices.
The Finance Ministry of Kuwait has confirmed a preliminary budget surplus of 9.82 billion dinars in the first nine months of its 2008/09 fiscal year, despite falling oil prices, official data showed on Sunday.
Income, mainly from oil revenues for the world's No. 7 oil exporter, was 18.55 billion dinars at end-December, while expenditures were 8.73 billion dinars, the finance ministry said.
Kuwait has assumed its crude, the country's main revenue earner, would fetch $50 a barrel over the year to March 31. But U.S. light crude, which trades at a premium to Kuwaiti crude, hit $46.20 a barrel on Friday.
National Bank of Kuwait said last month the Gulf Arab state is expected to post a surplus of 1.8 billion dinars this year, reflecting record oil prices during the first months of the fiscal year.
Kuwait posted a surplus of 9.32 billion dinars in 2007/08.
For the new fiscal year, Kuwait plans to lower spending except for wages and investments, Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shamali said earlier this month. (Reuters)