Kuwait replaces oil and finance ministers in cabinet reshuffle

DUBAI (Reuters) - Kuwait replaced its oil, finance and defense ministers in a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, state news agency KUNA reported.

Bakhit al-Rashidi was appointed the new oil minister of the OPEC member state and Nayef Falah al-Hajraf was named the new finance minister, KUNA said, citing a royal decree.

Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad, son of the ruling Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, was appointed the new minister of defense.

The previous cabinet resigned on Oct. 30 when its information minister was questioned by parliament and faced a no-confidence vote over alleged violations of budgetary and legislative rules. Mohammed Nasser Al-Jabri was named the new minister.

The major oil producer has the oldest legislature among the Gulf Arab states and experiences frequent cabinet reshuffles. The previous government was formed in February.

Rashidi, who replaced Essam al-Marzouq as oil minister, is chief executive of Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI), the international downstream subsidiary of state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp.

There was no immediate announcement about his KPI post but in the past, Kuwaiti ministers have resigned positions as corporate executives when they take government posts. Rashidi, who has an engineering background, is also a former executive of state refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Co.

Hajraf replaced Anas al-Saleh, who had been finance minister since early 2014. Hajraf was previously chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Capital Markets Authority, the securities regulator. He has also served as an acting finance minister.

Saleh was named deputy prime minister and state minister for cabinet affairs.

Reporting by Noah Browning; Additional reporting by Rania El Gamal; Writing by Noah Browning and Andrew Torchia; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky