KUWAIT Dec 18 Kuwait said it will refer plans
for a joint venture with Dow Chemical (DOW.N) to the country's
top legal authority after parliamentary opposition to the
multi-billion dollar deal, state news agency KUNA said.
State-run Petrochemical Industries Co (PIC) said on
Wednesday it was going ahead with the venture, triggering anger
among some lawmakers who said it was no longer viable in light
of the global financial crisis and slumping petrochemicals
Deputy Prime Minister Faisal al-Hajji told KUNA late on
Wednesday that the government had referred the deal to the state
audit bureau, which monitors spending and revenues, last Sunday.
"The issue will be referred on Thursday to the government's
Fatwa and Legislation Department to take all necessary
measures," KUNA cited Hajji as saying, without elaborating.
PIC, which is owned by Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC), signed a
deal earlier this month with Dow, the largest chemicals maker in
the United States, to launch K-Dow Petrochemicals. PIC is to pay
Dow $7.5 billion for its stake in the venture.
The original value of the deal was cut by more than 8
percent to about $17.4 billion in light of the global
A new cabinet is expected to be appointed in Kuwait in the
new year after the old one resigned last month over a standoff
(Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by John Stonestreet)