Oil market will take time to stabilize, says Al-Naimi

Updated 18 January 2016

Oil market will take time to stabilize, says Al-Naimi

RIYADH: Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi said on Sunday it would take “some time” to restore stability to the global oil market in the midst of a glut, but he remained optimistic about the future.
Al-Naimi's comments come at a time when OPEC member Iran is preparing to raise oil exports after international sanctions were lifted on Saturday. Brent plunged to $28.94 a barrel on Friday, its lowest in 12 years, on the prospect of additional Iranian barrels.
“As you know, the oil market has witnessed over its long history, periods of instability, severe price fluctuations and petro-economic cycles,” Al-Naimi said in a speech at an energy event in Riyadh attended by the Mexican president and energy minister.
“This is one of them. Market forces as well as the cooperation among the producing nations always lead to the restoration of stability. This, however, takes some time,” he said.
“I am optimistic about the future, the return of stability to the global oil markets, the improvement of prices and the cooperation among the major producing countries,” he added.
Al-Naimi made a reference to the Asian financial crisis of 1998-1999 when oil crashed and Riyadh helped organize a production cut with other non-OPEC producers, including Mexico, to support prices, according to Reuters.

Saudi business chiefs back 2020 budget

Updated 3 min 15 sec ago

Saudi business chiefs back 2020 budget

  • 2020 spending plan hailed as a positive driver in boosting country’s economy

RIYADH: Saudi businesses have welcomed spending plans of SR1.02 trillion ($272 billion) next year, announced by King Salman.

The Council of Saudi Chambers praised the efforts of the monarch, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and others in reaching an agreement on the 2020 budget.

The government has predicted revenues of SR833 billion and a deficit of SR187 billion for next year, considered an indicator of the success of the Kingdom’s economic policies amid a bleak global economic backdrop.

Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers Dr. Sami Abdullah Al-Abaidi said that the Saudi business sector was optimistic about the new spending plans.

“These figures reflect the effective impact of the economic reform measures, the economy’s restructuring and diversification of sources of income,” he added.

Al-Abaidi praised the king and the crown prince for supporting the Saudi economy through numerous projects and initiatives aimed at boosting the business sector.

He said the most notable were business performance improvement initiatives, privatization, private-sector stimulation and local promotion programs.

“This has paved the way for the Kingdom to get the best international classifications, including its first world ranking in business environment reforms, which made it a hub for investments,” Al-Abaidi added.

The business chief reiterated King Salman’s determination to continue implementing reforms, diversifying sources of income, making optimal use of resources, empowering the private sector, and improving transparency and efficiency in government spending to boost growth rates.

“These trends are one of the most important requirements for achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” he said.

The council’s vice chairman, Muneer bin Saad, said the budget for the new year focused on investing in the human element and sectors that directly affected the lives of citizens, including the development of services.

Saad added the monarch had directed to extend the disbursement of the cost of living allowance until the end of 2020.

Council member Abdullah Al-Odaim said the budget met the expectations of Saudi citizens, and strengthened the confidence of international investors, as figures showed the determination of the state to move forward in its policies to raise the efficiency of government spending.

They also showed increases in non-oil revenues, projected to grow more in light of the improvement of economic activity.

The delegated secretary-general of the Council of Saudi Chambers, Hussain Al-Abdulqader, said the Saudi business sector welcomed the budget which through
its projects and programs would help improve investment opportunities as well as the Saudi economy, ultimately strengthening the Kingdom’s global economic standing.