Qatar’s growth prospects over the medium to long-term will get further strengthened with the “expansionary” budget of 2012/13, which envisages revenue of QR206bn and expenditure of QR178bn, QNB Financial Services said in an industry update here.
QNB Group is currently forecasting an actual budget surplus of QR69.4bn in the financial year 2012/13, based on an oil price assumption of $115 per barrel versus a budgeted $65/b.
It estimates that the projected surplus of QR28bn in the current budget “should easily be surpassed given the strength seen in oil prices.”
The projected surplus of QR28bn is based on a $65 per barrel oil price assumption (up $10/b from the FY2011/12 budget assumption), which QNB Group said “looks conservative” against current market expectations of $115/b (median forecast as per Bloomberg) and $110/b (market forward price).
The budget targets a surplus of 23% in 2012/13 compared with 16% in 2011/12.
In terms of spending initiatives, QR72bn has been allocated in the current fiscal for development expenditures, up close to 11% from the previous budget.
This is comprised of QR36bn in infrastructure spending, which includes completion of the new Doha International Airport, new Doha Port, rail network, roads, drainage, urban development in preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and expansion of the electricity and water network.
According to QNB Group, QR22bn will be spent on education and youth welfare in 2012 / 13. This involves establishment of school buildings and educational facilities.
On healthcare, Qatar will spend QR14bn, which includes completion of new hospitals and health facilities.
QNB Group forecasts about $100bn will be spent between 2012 and 2016 on currently planned projects to support the National Development Strategy (NDS).
Qatar’s spending initiatives will benefit many sectors including banking, utilities and industries, QNB Group said.
The banking sector will be a “key beneficiary” in view of the substantial public sector spending through the banking system.
As financial intermediaries, banks are key beneficiaries in capturing public sector lending flows and transactional fees related to increased government spending.
With infrastructure and construction spending gearing up, the industrials and building materials sectors could be “obvious beneficiaries” over the longer term, QNB Group said.
Qatar’s overall development will also increase demand for electricity and water, it said.
“While limited avenues of domestic growth exist in the medium term given Qatar’s surplus power capacity, we expect this to change as new projects come online in the latter part of this decade leading to increased provisioning of essential services to new residential, commercial and industrial facilities.
“In addition, planned capacity expansion in the leisure, retail as well as hospitality segments implies higher demand for electricity and water,” QNB Group said.
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