Fitch Rates Saudi Arabia as “AA-” with a Stable Outlook

April 3, 2012 – Fitch Ratings has backed Saudi Arabia’s investment-grade rating at “AA-” with a stable outlook, attributed in part to high oil revenue. Saudi Minister of Finance H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf was pleased with the rating, saying it pointed to the strength and soundness of the financial and economic policies currently being undertaken by the Saudi Government. The country ceiling has been affirmed at "AA" and the short-term foreign currency issuer default ratings at "F1+". Industry experts commented that the rating gives foreign investors a clear and consistent way to assess country risk and provides a benchmark for borrowers wishing to tap the international debt markets. Fitch predicted overall economic growth for 2012 to be at 4 percent, remaining fairly close to its recent trends and becoming increasingly broad-based as private sector activity strengthens and bank credit accelerates. Fitch forecasts a government fiscal surplus of at least 12 percent of GDP in 2012, after the 14 percent surplus recorded in 2011.

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