FINANCIAL NEWS

Kuwaiti lawmakers approve privatization bill

18 Apr 2010

(MENAFN) The Kuwaiti parliament gave initial approval to a much-delayed privatization bill allowing the sale of some state-owned entities, including some downstream assets in the country’s energy sector, Kuna reported.

Kuwait’s oil and gas fields are off-limits to foreign investment and would remain so, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah told reporters.

Several lawmakers opposed the inclusion of any energy assets in the bill, which they say should remain under the government’s control to avoid corruption.

The bill, which excludes the privatization of the health and education sectors unless done through a separate law, would leave the government with no more than 20 percent of privatized firms.

The government’s returns from the process will be added to the Gulf Arab state’s budget revenues, with at least 50 percent of the total returns to the Future Generation Fund.

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