Vision 2030: Why Saudi Arabia’s reform changes make investors nervous

Behind the unease is the fact that Vision 2030, launched in 2016, has so far done little to free the economy from dependence on oil exports. It has begun to shrink a big state budget deficit with austerity steps, but has not yet created major new sources of non-oil growth or jobs.

Riyadh plans to sell about 5% of Aramco to raise money for reinvestment in non-oil industries. Officials have said that they aim to complete the sale by end-2018, raising about $100bn. “The government privatisation programme continues to gain traction and the plan for an initial public offering [IPO] of a stake in Saudi Aramco remains on track,” the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia’s government has assured investors that its Vision 2030 economic reform programme, including the sale of a stake in national oil giant Saudi Aramco, is on track despite plans to adjust parts of it.

The Saudi information ministry said on Saturday Riyadh remained committed to the reforms and was merely streamlining the NTP (National Transformation Plan) to make it easier to carry out. “Vision 2030 builds on early successes and is strengthening its delivery mechanisms as it increases the scope and pace of implementation,” the ministry said. Some of Riyadh’s austerity steps have been unpopular and it has reversed or delayed a few as the economy has slowed.

Source Credit: Bloomberg
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