The recent attacks on Saudi Aramco's oil facilities that slashed half of the kingdom’s oil output had 'zero' impact on the country's revenue and won’t affect its economic growth, declared Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan.
"The disruption to the kingdom’s all-important oil sector was temporary and spending will continue as planned, said Al Jadaan while speaking to Bloomberg TV.
“We are back online, so the interruption in terms of the economy, in terms of revenue, is zero,” he said. The kingdom has used oil reserves to fill the gap during the past few days, he stated.
Saudi Aramco said late Tuesday that it had revived about 40% of capacity at a key crude-processing complex in Abqaiq days after devastating aerial attacks wrecked vital equipment and rocked global energy markets.
Al-Jadaan said that after a boost to state spending, the government is “seeing momentum” in the non-oil economy and he expects the sector to hit the 2.9% expansion forecast by the International Monetary Fund.
Officials will continue to balance fiscal health with “making sure that we continue to support growth,” said the minister.
“Saudi Arabia has weathered significantly worse situations than what we are seeing now, and there are actually very strong opportunities that are taking place in the economy,” Al Jadaan told Bloomberg TV.
He reiterated the kingdom’s commitment to sell a stake in Aramco in the next 12 months. The primary bourse will be the local Tadawul, and the kingdom is still considering its options for a secondary market abroad, he added.
In another interview with Saudi television channel Al-Arabiya, Al Jadaan said he sees a potential bond issuance before the end of the year and expects the kingdom’s 2019 budget deficit to be “close to forecasts.”
Asked about any increase in military outlays following the attacks, Al-Jadaan said the kingdom would “continue spending as we need on our defense and our protection.”-TradeArabia News Service