Despite Massive Fortune, King Hamad Leaves his Country Drown Economically
2020-03-27 - 8:07 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahrain is sinking deeper into a very difficult economic situation day after another. Since the beginning of this year, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) has said that Bahrain is in danger after its public debt exceeded 13 billion of the GDP, with a public debt amounting to 100.19% of GDP.
In recent weeks, oil prices have fallen to the lowest level in three decades after Saudi Arabia dramatically lifted its production ceiling, and then came the Coronavirus pandemic that shook the region's economies violently, first of all Bahrain, whose economy has become in danger of collapse. Why would King Hamad and his family let the country sink into the unknown with great treasures in their hands?
King Hamad receives one third of Bahrain's oil income, according to estimates announced in 2013 by British writer Dr. Marc Owen Jones, Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies and Digital Humanities. In 80 years, the ruling family in Bahrain has received about a quarter of the nation's wealth, Jones said. In fact, the amount given to the ruling family per year was always the largest item of recurrent expenditure.
Jones says that the Bahrain ruler has been and still is receiving one third of Bahrain's oil income. All oil revenues received by the state and not appearing in the budget were allocated to the privy purse of the ruler.
Why doesn't the king who owns seven private jets, one of which an official aircraft from Royal Bahrain Airlines, as well as a fleet of six aircraft: a Boeing Business Jet BBJ2, two Boeing 747-400s, a Boeing 767-400ER, a Gulfstream G-IV and a Bell 430, pay?
The most recent purchases of the Bahrain Royal Flight were a Boeing 767-400ER and a Boeing Business Jet BBJ2. The Boeing alone costs $250 million.
In 2014, the Financial Times revealed a $22 billion investment company owned by Hamad. The company's investments are between Bahrain and Britain. The Financial Times estimated the property owned by the Bahraini king in Britain to be at a value of $900 million.
An investigative report by the British newspaper revealed that for a decade the Premier Group, which is believed to be an investment group owned by the king and other members of his family, acquired swathes of underwater land in Bahrain, noting that the group was acquiring stakes in land reclamation projects to build luxury hotels, office towers and residences. Premier Group companies own shares in Bahrain's largest construction projects, with a value of about $22 billion and is expected to generate billions of profits.
The $2.5 billion Bahrain Bay project was the last underwater land the king sold, a project that now extends over vast areas of water and over which a number of major investments, including the Four Seasons Hotel have been built. Activists say that a large proportion of these are said to belong to the king personally.
This is an overview of the king's wealth alone which is estimated at billions. The question is: why would he allow his country to sink after its finances have run out and its debts have exceeded its resources?