Saudi fi­nance min­is­ter sacked

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

SAUDI Ara­bia has sacked its vet­eran fi­nance min­is­ter as the king­dom un­der­goes a ma­jor eco­nomic re­struc­tur­ing be­cause of lower oil rev­enues.

Ibrahim al-As­saf “has been re­moved from his po­si­tion”, said a royal de­cree, one of a series of or­ders from King Sal­man, pub­lished by the of­fi­cial SPA news agency.

Mr As­saf was re­placed by Mo­hammed Al­jadaan, head of the Cap­i­tal Mar­ket Au­thor­ity which reg­u­lates the stock mar­ket.

Mr As­saf, 67, who has a doc­tor­ate in eco­nom­ics, was re­as­signed as a min­is­ter of state and will re­main in cabi­net.

Mr Al­jadaan, a lawyer, had led the Cap­i­tal Mar­ket Au­thor­ity since Jan­uary last year.

Since 2014, global oil prices have col­lapsed by about half, ac­cel­er­at­ing Saudi ef­forts to move away from pe­tro­leum which still ac­counts for the bulk of gov­ern­ment in­come.

The world’s big­gest oil ex­porter is pro­ject­ing a bud­get deficit of US$87 bil­lion this year.

It has taken a series of mea­sures, in­clud­ing sub­sidy cuts, re­duc­tions in cabi­net min­is­ters’ salaries and de­lays in ma­jor projects.

Mr As­saf last week said Saudi Ara­bia’s fi­nan­cial po­si­tion re­mains strong de­spite sink­ing oil prices, al­though there is “some pres­sure” on bank liq­uid­ity. –

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