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Bahrain Benefiting from Oil: Bloomberg

2022-04-20 - 6:52 p

Bahrain Mirror: Bahrain will resume making payments into its rainy day fund, doubling the amount it contributes at oil prices over $80 a barrel, as it looks to rebuild savings tapped to handle the economic impact of the pandemic, the Bloomberg website stated.

Bahrain, one of the most heavily indebted among the oil producers of the Middle East, will put $2 into the Future Generations Reserve Fund for each barrel of crude sold at over $80, according to a statement. It will set aside $1 when oil is over $40 and pay $3 if it exceeds $120.

In a stark turnaround from two years ago after the invasion of Ukraine, soaring crude prices are transforming the fortunes of the petrostates in the Gulf, generating a windfall that's now allowing the region's most vulnerable economies to rebuild finances, pay down debt and raise spending. 

Bahrain had halted payments into its reserve fund in 2020 and drew down $450 million, almost half its assets, as the coronavirus pandemic shut down economies around the world and briefly sent oil prices below zero.

Bahrain received a $10 billion financial aid package in 2018 to help it cope with high debt levels and budget deficits. As part of the financial support from richer neighboring nations including Saudi Arabia, the country outlined plans to balance its budget by 2022. But last year it pushed back that target because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its economy. 

Since then, soaring oil prices and an economic rebound have led Finance Minister Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa to say the country could now beat the 2024 goal.

Arabic Version