Qatar LNG producers said to begin postponed job cuts

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker crosses through the Suez Canal. (Reuters)
Updated 24 November 2017

Qatar LNG producers said to begin postponed job cuts

DOHA/LONDON: Qatari gas producers QatarGas and RasGas this week began implementing job cuts that had been postponed because of the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its neighboring states, sources told Reuters.
The layoffs had initially been slated for June after the Gulf state’s decision to merge the two liquified natural gas (LNG) divisions of Qatar Petroleum.
Qatar Petroleum’s CEO has said that the merger of RasGas and Qatargas would help to cut operating costs by hundreds of millions of dollars at the world’s largest LNG producer.
Some engineers were given fresh appointment letters from the newly merged entities, while others were notified about redundancies, one of the sources said, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Another source said that as many as 500 staff had been axed.

Saudi Arabia’s 2019 budget boosts spending by 7%

Updated 9 min 23 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s 2019 budget boosts spending by 7%

  • Spending projected to hit $295 billion next year
  • Analysts expect ‘gradual’ pickup in non-oil economic growth

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia plans to increase state spending by more than 7 percent in 2019, according to a budget released by the Finance Ministry on Tuesday.

Spending is projected to rise to 1.106 trillion riyals ($295 billion) next year, up from an actual 1.030 trillion riyals this year, a finance ministry document quoted by Reuters said.

The move is seen as an effort to boost economic growth, which has been hurt by low oil prices, which have plummeted more than 30 percent since October. 

“We believe that the 2019 fiscal budget will be focusing on supporting economic activity – investment and wider,” Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), told Arab News. 

“The continuation of the handout package will be positive for household consumption by nationals. We expect to see some overall fiscal loosening in 2019, which should support a further gradual pickup in real non-oil GDP growth.”

Malik said the government spending projection in the 2019 budget is in line with earlier official indications. 

A pre-budget statement in September, the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, predicted next year’s budget would be SR1.11 trillion.

The Kingdom has run a budget deficit since 2014 as a slump in oil prices lowered state income. Saudi Arabia aims to balance its budget by 2023.