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Bahrain Abolishes NOGA, Oil Ministry to Take over Functions

Bahrain Abolishes NOGA, Oil Ministry to Take over Functions

Monday, 27 September, 2021 - 17:00
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. (AFP)

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued a royal decree on Monday abolishing the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), with all its functions to be undertaken by the oil ministry, the state-run Bahrain News Agency said.

“All the financial appropriations allocated for NOGA in the state budget and all its rights and obligations shall be transferred to the Ministry of Oil,” BNA said, adding all of NOGA’s employees will also be transferred to the ministry and retain their rights and benefits.

NOGA has raised funds in the debt capital markets several times over the past few years, including a $600 million issuance of sukuk, or Islamic bonds, in April.

It has $2.25 billion in outstanding conventional bonds, according to Refinitiv data.

Separately, Bahrain’s government sent a draft bill to parliament for approval to amend the value-added tax rate, currently at 5%, from next January, reported BNA.

The agency did not say whether the amendment referred to a hike or a cut in the rate.

But a parliamentary source and a source close to the government told Reuters on Sunday the government is considering doubling VAT to 10% to boost state revenues and reduce its budget deficit.

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