Qatar’s Acting Finance Minister Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari said that his country will not touch the debt market this year except to “seize opportunities” after a jump in energy prices reduced budget financing needs.
Speaking at an economic forum, Al-Kuwari said his country would only collect debt this year to take advantage of low interest rates. “Let’s just seize the opportunities, but from a budget and deficit perspective, if the situation continues, we will be in a good position,” he added.
In turn, the credit rating agency “Fitch” reported last week that Qatar will likely achieve a budget surplus this year close to three percent of gross domestic product, benefiting from the recovery of energy prices after the slowdown caused by the Corona virus last year, which saw the Qatari economy shrink by 5 percent. 3.7 percent.
Qatar, a major producer of liquefied natural gas, posted a surplus of 200 million riyals ($55 million) in the first quarter of this year. Al-Kuwari said that the surplus came as a result of “controlling spending and improving revenues.”
In December 2020, Doha expected a deficit of 34.6 billion riyals ($9.5 billion) this year, but its 2021 budget was based on an assumption of an oil price of $40 a barrel, which It means that the actual deficit may be lower.
Brent crude futures rose above $75 a barrel this week, the highest price recorded since April 25, 2019.
Al-Kuwari said that in the future, Qatar will seek to diversify the economy by focusing on attracting foreign direct investment, strengthening the private sector and creating a better business environment.
($1 = 3.6416 Qatari riyals)