Fitch Ratings downgrades Saudi Arabia by one notch to A+ with a stable outlook from AA- with a negative outlook, citing deterioration of state finances due to low oil prices and doubts over whether Riyadh can achieve its economic reform plans, Invest-Gate reports.
According to the Fitch report, while the Saudi leadership was strongly committed to diversifying the economy beyond oil, that intention might not suffice.
“In Fitch’s view, the scale of the reform agenda risks overwhelming the government’s administrative capacity,” the ratings agency says in a statement.
In his comments on the rating downgrade, Saudi Arabian Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jaddan says that the economy and the government’s balance sheets were fundamentally strong. “The Saudi economy has structurally aligned itself to a lower oil price environment as reflected in a more sustainable balancing price for its fiscal and current accounts,” adds the minister.