Kuwait Channels Assets to Wealth Fund to Improve Cash Flow | Kanebridge News
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Kuwait Channels Assets to Wealth Fund to Improve Cash Flow

Kuwait has completed the transfer of its remaining valuable assets to the sovereign wealth fund, in return for cash to address its budget deficit.

By Kanebridgenewme.com
Wed, Feb 7, 2024 12:05pmGrey Clock < 1 min

The transferred assets reportedly include shares in Kuwait Finance House and Zain, a telecommunications company, as well as the state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp., valued nominally at 2.5 billion dinars ($8.3 billion), transferred in January.

This move comes as a result of a political dead end that has prevented the government from borrowing, leading to a liquidity crisis in one of the world’s wealthiest countries. This crisis prompted Fitch Ratings to revise its outlook on Kuwait to negative, while maintaining its AA rating.

Fitch cited concerns over the rapid reduction of liquid assets and the lack of legislative approval for government borrowing as factors contributing to financial uncertainty. This follows the warning sent by S&P Global Ratings about a potential downgrade in the country’s rating within the next six to 12 months if the political standstill persists.

Despite being a high-income country, Kuwait has drained its reserves due to long periods of low oil prices. In a bid to generate funds, the government has exchanged its prime assets for cash with the $600 billion Future Generations Fund, designed to preserve the country’s wealth beyond the oil area. With the completion of these asset transfers, it remains uncertain how Kuwait will manage its eighth straight budget deficit, estimated at 12 billion dinars for the upcoming fiscal year starting in April.



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Preparatory Work for UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail Project Commences at Full Speed

Preparations have begun on the transformative UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail network, revealing significant construction details during a site visit.

Thu, May 16, 2024 3 min

The $3bn Hafeet Rail project between the UAE and Oman will feature 60 bridges and a 2.5km tunnel, making it an “architectural and engineering marvel,” according to CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi.

Hafeet Rail has announced that preparatory work is moving full speed ahead for constructing the transformative railway link between the UAE and Oman. This announcement was made during a site visit attended by key officials, members of the Asyad and Hafeet Rail executive management teams, project contractors, and consultants.

Key Highlights

During the visit, attendees were introduced to the main components of the project, including passenger, repair, and shipping stations, as well as major bridges and tunnel sites.

The Hafeet Rail project is set to play a very important role in enhancing local and regional trade, unlocking new opportunities in the infrastructure, transportation, and logistics sectors, and fostering economic diversification. It will also strengthen bilateral relations between the UAE and Oman.

The project will involve constructing 60 bridges, some reaching heights of up to 34 meters, and tunnels extending 2.5 kilometres. The Hafeet Rail team showcased the latest rail technologies and innovative engineering and architectural solutions designed to navigate the challenging geographical terrain and weather conditions while maintaining high standards of efficiency and safety.

The rail network will boost various industrial sectors and economic activities and significantly impact the tourism industry by facilitating easier and faster travel between the two countries.

Ahmed Al Bulushi, Asyad Group Chief Executive Asset, noted that the project’s rapid progress reflects the commitment of the UAE and Oman to developing and realizing the project’s multifaceted benefits.

Investment and Future Impact

Al Bulushi added that investments in developing local capabilities and expertise in rail-related disciplines over recent years have enabled the project to reach the implementation phase successfully under the leadership of highly efficient and professional national talent.

Hafeet Rail’s CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi emphasized, “The commencement of preparatory works for construction is a testament to the robust synergy between all parties involved in both nations, achieving this milestone in record time. We are confidently laying down the right tracks thanks to the shareholders of Hafeet Rail and the expertise of local companies in Oman and the UAE, alongside international partners.”

During the site visit, the visitors explored some of the key preparatory sites, including Wadi Al Jizi, where a 700-meter-long bridge towering 34 meters will be constructed. This ambitious project is envisioned as an architectural and engineering marvel in a complex geographical landscape.

Future phases will require more collaboration, with a continued focus on quality, safety, and environmental considerations in line with the international industry best practices.

The Hafeet Rail project represents the first-of-its-kind railway network linking two Gulf nations, marking a significant shift in regional goods transportation. This efficient and reliable transportation option will reduce dependence on slower and less sustainable road transport.

Hafeet Rail promises a 40% reduction in shipping costs and a 50% in transit times compared to traditional land transportation methods, as it will be connecting five major ports and several industrial and free zones in both countries.

This shift will reduce reliance on road transport by cars and trucks and promote more sustainable shipping practices. The establishment of the railway network will also create significant opportunities for SMEs in construction, engineering, and logistics support, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and innovation within the domestic economy.

By linking major ports, the Hafeet Rail project will enable local SMEs to import, export, and distribute their products more effectively, enhancing their market reach and global competitiveness.

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