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Malaysia sees oil tax revenue in line with forecast


October 24, 2008

Malaysia sees oil tax revenue in line with forecast
Malaysia's tax revenue from petroleum companies in 2009 will be in line with expectations despite the prospect of further falls in the oil price as the global economy slows, Reuters quoted Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop as saying Thursday. But he warned revenues could fall in 2010.

"However, in 2010 it could become an issue if the crude oil price in 2009 were to stay at US$70 per barrel level as the companies will pay taxes and dividends based on a lower crude oil price," state news agency Bernama quoted Nor Mohamed as telling reporters.

Oil prices have come off record highs hit in July and was trading at $67.55 on Thursday.

Direct tax revenues from the petroleum sector are projected at 35.83 billion ringgit in 2009, accounting for just under a fifth of the government's projected revenue.

Malaysia's budget deficit is set to come in at 4.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2008, much higher than the 3.2 percent previously forecast, according to the government.

It currently forecasts a deficit of 3.6 percent GDP next year, but has said that figure will be revised.

Leading thinktank the Malaysian Institute for Economic Research said last week the deficit could be as much as 5 percent of GDP this year and 4 percent next year, in part due to lower oil prices.

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