BUSINESS NEWS | Gulf Economies To Shrink By 7.6% This Year, IMF Says

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will see their economies shrink by 7.6% this year, an International Monetary Fund official said on Tuesday, revising downwards April forecast nearly 3%.

The six GCC nations are, with varying degree, facing steep economic declines as the slowdown in business activity due to the coronavirus pandemic is amplified by a price drop in hydrocarbons, which are their main source of revenue.

The IMF last week said Saudi Arabia’s economy – the largest in the Arab world – faces a 6.8% contraction this year, sharper than the 2.3% the Eashington – based lender had forecast in April.

‘We expect the GCC economies to contract by 7.6% this year, the contraction will be across all sector, oil and non  – oil’, Jihad Azour, director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, said on Tuesday at a virtual economic forum.

He said oil-producing countries in other regions were likely to see even larger drops.

Bahrain – one of the smallest Gulf producers – expects its economy to shrink in line with IMF forecasts, said Central Bank Governor Rasheed Mohammed al-Maraj, also speaking at the forum.

The IMF in April had projected Bahrain’s economy to contract by 3.6 % this ear.

Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor said instead that the kingdom expects its economy to fare better than forecast by the IMF.

Without providing a number, Ahmed al-Kholifey, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), said the IMF outlook was ‘more pessimistic’ than Saudi Arabia’s own projections.

Kholifey said SAMA was encouraging commercial banks to lend more to support business during the downturn and that banking indicators were reassuring, with banks’ coverage for loans at the over 140% in the banking sector.

In a ‘worst-case scenario’, he said, non – performing loans would not exceed 4% of total loans this year.


BREAKING NEWS | Twitter Accounts Of Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Apple And Others Apparently Hacked

Twitter account belonging to Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Apple, among other prominent handles, were compromised on Wednesday and posted tweets that appeared to promote a cryptocurrency scam. The accounts, along with those of former President Barack Obama, Kanye West, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezzos and Mike Bloomberg, posted similar tweets soliciting donations via … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Twitter Accounts Of Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Apple And Others Apparently Hacked

NEWS ALERT | Seven Ships Catch Fire At Iranian Port – Tasnim Agency

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HEALTH | Russian Scientists Hail Results Of COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

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CULTURE | Google’s New Tool Lets You Translate Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics

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SPORTS NEWS | Saudi Arabia Permanently Cancels License Of Qatar’s beIN Sports

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TRAVEL NEWS | Oman To Start Allowing Citizens To Travel Abroad – State TV

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Omani will start allowing its citizens to fly outside the country, but they must apply with authorities to do so quarantine upon their return, state television reported on Tuesday. Oman TV also said on its Twitter account that the Gulf Arab state had decided to maintain a lockdown on two … Continue reading TRAVEL NEWS | Oman To Start Allowing Citizens To Travel Abroad – State TV

BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Aramco Says Reorganizing Downstream Business To Support Growth

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – State energy giant Saudi Aramco said on Tuesday that it will be reorganizing its downstream business to support its global growth strategy, aiming to complete it by the end of this year. The downstream model will be divided into four units: fuels including refining, trading, retail and lubes; chemicals; power; … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Aramco Says Reorganizing Downstream Business To Support Growth

NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates France President On His Country’s National Day

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