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Wed 25 Mar 2009 06:26 PM

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Kuwait revenues hit $69bn - finance ministry

Revenues for first 11 months of fiscal year show 59% increase on budget estimates.

OPEC member Kuwait posted 20.2 billion dinars ($69.6 billion) in revenues during the first 11 months of the fiscal year ending on March 31, finance ministry figures showed on Wednesday.

That marked an increase of 59.4 percent over the budget estimates of $43.7 billion for the whole fiscal year.

Actual spending was $44.3 billion, just 67.7 percent of the projected expenditure of $65.4 billion for the whole year.

That leaves a preliminary budget surplus of $25.3 billion, which is likely to shrink when the finance ministry makes end-year accounting.

Oil revenues came in at $65.7 billion, up 63.6 percent on estimates of $40.2 billion for the whole year and constituting more than 94 percent of total income.

Income began declining in October when the price of oil fell sharply from record $147 a barrel in July.

But the results still put OPEC's fourth largest producer well on track to post a budget surplus for the 10th straight year.

Kuwait plans to cut spending in 2009-2010 by a massive 36 percent and is projecting a huge deficit of $14.6 billion.

Based on official figures compiled by AFP, Kuwait has chalked up a total budget surplus of $113 billion over the past nine fiscal years, starting with 1999-2000.