Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia: As IMF warns over budget target, Vision 2030 faces deep challenges

Lauded by investment banks and other financiers in Riyadh and abroad, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s reforms look less impressive under the critical appraisal of experts and institutions who crunch the numbers and analyse policy responses. Usually most cautious when addressing its powerful shareholders, the IMF has criticised Riyadh’s plans for a balanced budget. Meanwhile independent critics are even harsher in their analysis of the Vision 2030 agenda – suggesting implementation is unlikely and could have downsides including hastening a devaluation that many Saudis would find very costly

Capitalizing On Debt: Middle East Bonds

By almost any measure, Saudi Arabia’s bond issue on October 19, 2016 was a success. While analysts had been predicting an issu­ance of between $10bn and $15bn, the final amount was $17.5bn, setting a new record for the largest ever emerging markets sovereign bond—the previ­ous record had been set by Argentina in April 2016, when it sold $16.5bn.