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Fitch Confirms Saudi Arabia's Ratings

4/2/2012 7:57 AM ET

Fitch Ratings on Monday affirmed sovereign ratings of Saudi Arabia at 'AA-' with 'stable' outlook.

According to Director in Fitch's Sovereign team Charles Seville, soaring oil revenues are enabling Saudi Arabia to invest and reform to address structural challenges while continuing to build up savings.

The general government logged an increased surplus of 14 percent of GDP in 2011, as growth in oil revenues outweighed the impact of a 25 percent rise in spending. The rating agency expects fiscal surplus to fall to at least 12 percent of GDP this year.

Fitch projects the economy to grow 4 percent in 2012, with risks to the upside as oil production may more than match 2011 levels. However, a fall in oil prices represents the main risk to Saudi Arabia's economy and public finances.

Further, the agency said geopolitical risk, in view of escalation in tensions between Iran and the international community, could trigger negative rating action.

by RTT Staff Writer

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