King Salman receives Cypriot president

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Updated 04 January 2018
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King Salman receives Cypriot president

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman held talks at Al-Yamamah Palace with President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus, currently on a visit to the Kingdom.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and ways of enhancing them, in addition to reviewing the latest regional developments.
King Salman and President Anastasiades then witnessed a joint ceremony to sign an agreement, an executive program and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Cyprus.
An agreement was signed to avoid double taxation on income and to prevent tax evasion. It was co-signed by Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan and Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.
The executive program was co-signed between the Kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation and the Cypriot Ministry of Transport.
The memorandum of understanding was related to political consultations between the Saudi and Cypriot foreign ministries. It was co-signed by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar Madani and Kasoulides.
The ceremony was attended by a number of princes, ministers, civil and military officials and the Saudi ambassador to Greece and Cyprus.
King Salman also held a luncheon in honor of the visiting president and his accompanying delegation.


IMF raises Saudi growth forecast on higher oil prices

Updated 1 min 49 sec ago
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IMF raises Saudi growth forecast on higher oil prices

  • The IMF raises its growth forecast for Saudi Arabia for the third time since October 2017
  • The IMF raises the growth forecast for the Saudi economy from 1.7% to 1.9% this year

DUBAI: The International Monetary Fund on Monday raised its growth forecast for the world’s top crude exporter Saudi Arabia, citing higher oil prices.
In its World Economic Outlook update, the IMF said the Saudi economy — which contracted by 0.9 percent last year — would grow by 1.9 percent in 2018, up 0.2 percentage points from its April projections.
This is the third time since October that the organization has raised its growth forecasts for the Kingdom, reflecting soaring oil revenues which make up more than 70 percent of Saudi income.
However, it maintained its Saudi growth projections for 2019 at 1.9 percent on predictions that oil prices would moderate.
Oil prices have more than doubled since early 2016, when major producers struck a deal to cut output.
Last month, they agreed to boost output again to compensate for key supply disruptions in Venezuela and Libya, and in a bid to ease prices that have hit $80 a barrel.
The IMF also slightly increased its growth estimates for the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan as a whole to 3.5 percent for this year and 3.9 percent for 2019.
Oil exporters in the region “have benefited from the improved outlook for oil prices, but the outlook for oil importing countries remains fragile,” the IMF said.
“Several economies still face large fiscal consolidation needs and the threat of intensifying geopolitical conflict continues to weigh on growth in the region.”
Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment estimated Saudi Arabia would boost its oil output to 10.3 million barrels per day for 2018, up from 9.9 million bpd for the first six months.
To achieve that, the Kingdom must pump around 10.6 million bpd until the end of 2018.
This will sharply cut Saudi Arabia’s budget deficit to around $30 billion (26 billion euros) from the projected $52 billion, Jadwa said in a report released last week.
Riyadh has posted a budget deficit for the past four consecutive years, borrowing from domestic and international markets and hiking fuel and power prices to finance the shortfall.
It also introduced a five percent value-added tax at the start of 2018.
Since 2014, Saudi budget deficits have totalled $260 billion.