Saudi Arabia loses $250 billion in cash in 3 years amid low oil prices

Saudi Arabia has lost nearly $250 billion of its cash assets in the last years, according to an official report by the country’s monetary authority, raising concerns about the oil-rich kingdom’s economy amid three years of slumping oil prices, a costly two and a half years of war in its southern neighbor Yemen and the recent crisis with Qatar.

This year, an austerity drive and a partial rebound in oil prices have helped Riyadh make progress in cutting the deficit — which narrowed 71 percent from a year ago to 26 billion riyals ($6.9 billion) in the first quarter, Reuters reported.

But net foreign assets have continued to shrink at about the same rate, by $36 billion in the first four months of 2017 — a mystery to economists and diplomats monitoring Saudi Arabia, and a potential blow to markets’ confidence in Riyadh.

Source Credit: Daily Sabah
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