Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said on Saturday that the kingdom may have to borrow $60 billion to cover the huge budget deficit caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to Al-Arabiya TV, Al-Jadaan explained that the kingdom might have to take “painful measures” to counter the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of oil prices.
After Al-Jadaan made his statement, Saudi shares fell by 6.8 per cent on Sunday.
On Thursday, Saudi Jadwa Investment company expected the kingdom to record a budget deficit of $112 billion this year.
Last April, the International Monetary Fund said it expected the Saudi economy, the largest in the region, to contract by 2.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, Capital Economics, a London-based think-tank, said Saudi’s economy would shrink by at least five per cent as a result of its dependence on oil sales.