S. Arabia Withdraws $70b to Plug Deficit
Saudi Arabia has allegedly withdrawn $70 billion from global asset managers as the country hopes to plug current budget deficit as crude slumped, World Bulletin reported. “Fund managers we have spoken to estimate Sama has pulled out between $50 billion to $70 billion from global asset managers over the past six months,” Nigel Sillitoe, chief executive officer of the Dubai-based firm, said. “Saudi Arabia is withdrawing funds because it’s trying to cut its widening deficit and it’s financing the war in Yemen,” he said, declining to name the fund managers. Saudi Arabia is trying to patch its budget hole after a 50% drop in oil during the past 12 months. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority’s reserves held in foreign securities have fallen about 10% from a peak of $737 billion last August to $661 billion in July, according to data from the central bank. With income from oil accounting for about 90% of revenue, Saudi Arabia’s budget deficit may widen to 20% of gross domestic product this year, according to the IMF.