Saturday, October 10, 2009
Kuwait was a British Protectorate until it attained independence in 1961. In 1948-49, the British issued a surcharged set of eleven stamps for Kuwait (Scott #72-81A). 19,351 sets were issued, and Scott '10 prices the unused set at $ 92.50. Issues of Kuwait, especially those of the British period, are sought after both in Kuwait and among British Commonwealth collectors.
A country of just under 3 million people, Kuwait is the 5th richest country in the world, with proven oil reserves of 104 billion barrels, and annual GDP growth of just under 6%. It is also developing its other major industries, which include shipping, construction, cement, water desalination, construction materials and financial services.
There are a number of scarce and undervalued issues from the Gulf States which I view as bargains. Assuming that these countries can maintain their economic growth, diversify away from their current near-total dependence on oil revenues, and avoid internal political instability or military conflicts with their neighbors, their better stamps should all do well.