KSA Posts 3.4pc GDP Growth

JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia, which has been making continuous economic growth, has been able to achieve a 3.4 per cent increase in its gross domestic product, and the kingdom’s economy is strong, according to the Shoura (Consultative) Council.

By Habib Shaikh

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Published: Wed 15 Oct 2008, 12:09 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:18 PM

“The council has been following the global financial crisis with deep concern. It is also following the government’s efforts to protect the kingdom from its impact,” the Shoura said in statement on Sunday. It added that the economy would not require any emergency measures to confront the present global crisis.

“Authorities have stated that the kingdom has no investments in the affected Western banks and that Saudi bank deposits are safe as they are invested locally,” the Shoura said, allaying public fears. It referred to a statement made by Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf that the kingdom’s development projects would not be affected by the crisis and would be funded by its reserves and oil receipts. “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also stated that the impact of global depression, which will appear next year, will be limited on Gulf economies,” it added.

Abdul Rahman Al Zamil, a member of the council’s economic committee, meanwhile, suggested that the government spend SR100 billion on buying high-yield stocks to “rescue” the bourse. He urged the government to deploy emergency measures, such as buying into falling stocks or allowing share buybacks, to spare ordinary citizens losses from weeks of bourse declines. “Our government and financial authorities must take exceptional measures because the situation is exceptional. We are stuck in a crisis we did not start. Our economies are sound and all our firms are profitable,” he said.

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