DUBAI, April 2 Qatar's government budget
spending is expected to stay at about this year's level until
2017, after which it could drop, Qatari Finance and Economy
Minister Youssef Kamal said on Tuesday.
Qatar plans to boost government spending by 18 percent to
210.6 billion riyals ($57.8 billion) in the 2013/14 fiscal year
that began on Monday, as it steps up a big infrastructure
"The budget of course until the year 2015 or 2017 will be
the same level, but later on it could go down again because most
of the infrastructure would be completed at that time," said
Kamal, speaking to reporters at a meeting of Arab finance
ministers and central bankers in Dubai.
Earlier, Qatar's central bank said it planned to issue 3
billion riyals of conventional bonds and 1 billion riyals of
sukuk in the local currency every quarter.
Asked if this meant Qatar would become less active issuing
international bonds, Kamal replied:
"We are still open to the international market - it depends
on opportunities and also on the level of debt to the GDP (gross
domestic product). Today the foreign debt to GDP of the state of
Qatar is around 12 percent. It's nothing."
Asked about the possibility of a Qatari dollar sovereign
bond issue this year, he said: "We study the international
market and if there is a good opportunity we will be active
within that opportunity."
The Qatar government was last in the international debt
market in July 2012 with a mammoth $4 billion dual-tranche sukuk
issue, which attracted orders worth more than $25 billion.
Asked about Qatar's plans to invest its gas wealth abroad,
Kamal said: "We will be active in the year 2013, not (only)
Europe, all the world.
"We are investing in assets and assets always appreciate. We
are a long-term investor, not a short-term investor."