Kuwait Savings Fund Reports Record 33% Growth in Annual Returns

Kuwait’s Future Generations Fund grew at a record rate of 33% in the year to March 31, the Gulf nation’s finance minister said.

Growth in the fund, a national savings account designed as a buffer for life after oil, over the last five years has exceeded total revenue from oil for the same period, Khalifa Hamada said. Kuwait recorded 66.7 billion dinars ($221.3 billion) in total oil revenue over the last five years.

While Hamada said the OPEC member’s financial status remained strong despite fluctuations in international markets, he warned that reforms were an “urgent necessity.”

The Kuwait Investment Authority, which manages the Future Generations Fund and the General Reserve Fund, is the world’s oldest sovereign fund -- and one of the largest -- with stakes in ports, airports and power distribution systems around the world.

The General Reserve Fund, or the treasury, was “completely depleted” last summer before the government took a number of measures that added 7 billion dinars to it, allowing the government to meets its monthly financial commitments, the minister said.

State assets, which include the Future Generations Fund, the General Reserve Fund and domestic public property, rose 19.2% in the same period. The state’s total liabilities are down 27.9% compared with last year, while the difference between assets and liabilities is up 28.7%, Hamada said.

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