Fitch Ratings on Thursday affirmed Saudi Arabia’s long-term foreign-currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A+' with a stable outlook.
Fitch said that Saudi Arabia’s ratings are “supported by strong fiscal and external balance sheets, including exceptionally high international reserves, low government debt, significant government assets and strong commitment to an ambitious reform agenda.”
The Fitch report said central government deficit is expected to narrow to 8.7 percent of GDP in 2017, from 17.2 percent in 2016.
Fitch praised the strength of the Saudi banking system, where it classified the banking sector in the Kingdom as "A", which is a very strong rating with only four countries in the world receiving such higher rating.
Finance Minister Mohammad al-Jadaan said that Fitch rating is an additional indicator that Saudi Vision 2030 and its programs are efficient. “It also affirms our strong economy and proves that we are building firm bases for sustainable growth and progress on the long-term,” Jadaan added.
“A huge progress has been achieved. We are heading towards 2018, looking forward to achieve and build a better future for the kingdom and the private and public sectors,” he continued.
This positive rating coincides with a statement by Morgan Stanley President Colm Kelleher for Asharq Al-Awsat that international investors consider the kingdom an attractive market that provides growth potentials.
“Saudi Vision 2030 offers a clear road-map towards achieving development and prosperity,” he said, adding that the kingdom has several promising sectors for foreign investors, especially that Morgan Stanley doesn’t focus on one sector only.
These developments come in time when Saudi Arabia has become a new investments destination and a platform for economic reforms with its global economic weight.