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Sun 13 Jun 2010 09:23 PM

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Oman budget surplus rises to $1.9bn in Jan-April

Sultanate's revenue jumped 41.9% in four months to the end of April from last year.

Oman budget surplus rises to $1.9bn in Jan-April
BUDGET SURPLUS:Data supplied by the Ministry of Economy showed that Omans budget surplus widened to $1.85bn in January to April, thanks to higher oil prices. (Getty Images)

Oman's budget surplus widened to $1.85 billion in January-April, helped by higher oil prices, economy ministry data showed on Sunday.

Most Gulf Arab states are expected to run comfortable budget surpluses and continue to raise spending this year as higher oil prices help recovery in the world's top crude exporting region.

Oman booked a surplus of $262 million in the same period a year ago and $1.09 billion in the first quarter of this year.

The Gulf sultanate's revenue jumped 41.9 percent to $7.6 billion in the four months to the end of April from a year ago, while expenditures rose 13.0 percent to $5.78 billion, the data showed.

Over the same period, Oman's net oil income doubled to $5.16 billion from $2.59 billion a year ago.

Saadoon Fayedh, analyst, Muscat Capital Investments, said: "I expect Oman ... to even make a small overall surplus for the year with the expected strong oil prices to prevail this year."

The non OPEC country sold its oil at an average price of $75.98 a barrel in January-April, up 70.4 percent from the same period of 2009.

US oil prices fell more than 2 percent to $73.78 a barrel on Friday as an unexpected fall in May retail sales in the United States and easing industrial output in China revived concerns about the economy and oil demand.

Oman based its 2010 budget on a projected oil price of $50 a barrel and expected a deficit of $2.07 billion given plans to finance a range of infrastructure projects.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected the country to post a surplus of 3.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2010. (Reuters)

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