Dividends: Shaking Down Sheiks

Although tiny Kuwait is one of the nations that have driven up world petroleum prices since 1973, its own citizens have been paying bargain prices for their fuel. Drivers of the country's 500,000 cars could fill their tanks with 90-octane gasoline for 19¢ per gal., while diesel fuel sold for 7.5¢. The state-owned Kuwait National Petroleum Co. sold the products for less than their cost. Last week, however, Kuwait's motorists awoke to find gasoline prices had nearly tripled, to 53¢ per gal. for the 90-octane blend. Diesel fuel now costs 57¢ per gal.

The abrupt hikes were the ironic flip side...

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