Key Fitch rating boost for Saudi
Manama, April 3, 2012
Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Ibrahim Al Assaf said Fitch's reaffirmation of the kingdom's AA- credit rating yesterday with a stable outlook was 'excellent'.
The world's top oil exporter, which has foreign reserves larger than the size of its economy, saw economic growth of 6.8 per cent last year on the back of a surging energy market.
The highest rating Fitch awards economies is AAA, but the agency said yesterday that Saudi Arabia's score suffered from the heightened political risk in the Middle East.
'This credit rating is considered to be excellent in light of the international economic conditions and regional circumstances,' Al Assaf was quoted as saying by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (Sama), the central bank.
Fitch forecast economic growth of 4pc for the kingdom this year, but Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al Jasser said he expected it to reach 6pc.
Sama governor Dr Fahad Al Mubarak said that Saudi Arabia would 'continue to modernise the infrastructure and stimulate economic activity in order to diversify sources of income,' indicating government spending may remain high.-Reuters