Ebrahim Sharif: Bahrain's Foreign Exchange Reserves No Longer Enough to Cover Two Months of Imports
2017-08-02 - 12:04 p
Bahrain Mirror: The prominent Bahraini opposition figure and economist Ebrahim Sharif said that Bahrain's foreign currency reserves witnessed a sharp decline, as it is no longer enough to cover the country's imports for two consecutive months, after it used to cover 6 months, according to the Central Bank's budget for 2016.
He added in a series of tweets published via his social media account that the downgrade of Bahrain's credit rating two degrees indicates "the continued deterioration of the financial conditions of the state, and a loss of confidence in the seriousness of measures made to reduce the budget deficit."
Sharif warned that next year "debt interests will consume about half of Bahrain's oil income, and current borrowing rates mean that oil income will soon entirely go to the public debt service."
He wondered what the secret was behind the rise of public debt quicker than the bridging of the government's fiscal deficit requires, calling for "full transparency and partnership to address our problems."
"Relying on the rise in oil prices again, is like a drowning person waiting for a boat to save him. We have to learn how to swim, since we entered a sea we weren't prepared for," he further warned.
"We are still at the beginning of the crisis. In the 1980s, oil prices remained low for 15 years, but this time we do not have financial reserves, we have accumulated a mountain of debt," he highlighted.
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