Saudi Arabia's net foreign assets fall to four-year low in April
Saudi Arabia's net foreign assets fell for a 15th month in April, as the kingdom announced its "vision" for a post-oil future.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency said on Sunday net foreign assets declined 1.1 percent to $572 billion, the lowest level in four years. The slump in crude prices has forced the government to sell bonds and draw on its currency reserves, still among the world's largest. Net foreign assets fell by $115 billion last year, when the kingdom ran a budget deficit of nearly $100 billion.
The fiscal crunch has pushed Saudi Arabia's rulers to look beyond oil , consider new taxes, and plan an initial public offering of state giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sketched out the planned changes dubbed Saudi Vision 2030 on April 25.
The strain on reserves has also fueled speculation that the kingdom will adjust its decadesold riyal peg to the dollar. New central bank Governor Ahmed Alkholifey told Al-Arabiya on Thursday that Saudi Arabia doesn't plan to change its exchange rate policy.