Qatar’s budget surplus to double in 2012/13

Qatar’s biggest bank expects country’s budget surplus to top $15.93bn

Qatar is on track to report a record budget surplus of QR58bn ($15.93bn) in 2012/13, according to a new report published by the country’s largest financial institution.

QNB Group, which operates subsidiaries Qatar National Bank and QNB Financial Services, says the surplus would be twice the level budgeted by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB).

The organisation bases its prediction on revised figures recently issued by the Economy & Finance Ministry, which showed in the last financial year government revenues rose 42 per cent to QR220bn, while expenditure topped QR166bn. The resulting surplus was QR54bn, or 8.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

While hydrocarbons revenues accounted for 81 per cent of government income in 2011/12, corporate tax revenues more than doubled year-on-year. Tax revenues are forecast to increase further in 2012/13.

QNB also forecasts a 10 per cent rise in hydrocarbons revenues in 2012/13 to QR243bn.

“The 2012/13 budget expects revenue of QR206bn, which would be slightly down on last year, based on a conservative oil price of $65/barrel,” the QNB report states. “The oil price has already averaged $106 in the first four months of the fiscal year, and so hydrocarbon revenue should be comfortably above budget.”

QNB also expects spending on major projects to continue to shape Qatar’s economy during the current financial year.

“The [2012/13] budget set aside QR116bn for current expenditure, almost the same as in 2011/12, whereas QNB Group expects this to rise slightly to QR124bn. The capital budget is set at QR62bn, a 24 per cent rise on the 2011/12 outturn. This is close to QNB Group’s forecast, as the imperative to get major infrastructure projects under way should ensure that the allocated budget is almost fully utilised.”

26 August 2012