Just days after Standard & Poor’s (S&P) cut Saudi Arabia’s long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit rating by one notch to ‘A+/A-1’ from ‘AA-/A-1+’, saying that a “pronounced swing” in the kingdom’s fiscal balance had prompted its downgrade, another sovereign ratings agency Moody’s has now warned of its weakening fiscal position, while keeping its…

UAE’s cabinet approved a zero deficit draft federal budget of AED48.5 billion for 2016, down 0.6 per cent or AED500 million from last year’s AED49.1 billion figure. Standard Chartered Chief Economist Carla Slim spoke to TRENDS and said this was a reflection of the UAE’s decision to rationalise spending as revenues falter, and a signal…

Lebanon benefits from lower oil prices and higher revenues, but lack of consensus on economic reforms and a challenging political environment might worsen its public finances. Moody’s predicts that the country’s twin deficits and debt burden are likely to widen in 2015-2016, as policy action remains insufficient to curb the negative fiscal trend. General government…