Saudi Arabia Seeks to Open New Markets to Confront Global Supply Chain Crisis

Saudi Arabia is seeking to diversify the resources of significant commodities to avoid the risks of the global supply chains crisis. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Arabia is seeking to diversify the resources of significant commodities to avoid the risks of the global supply chains crisis. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Arabia Seeks to Open New Markets to Confront Global Supply Chain Crisis

Saudi Arabia is seeking to diversify the resources of significant commodities to avoid the risks of the global supply chains crisis. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Arabia is seeking to diversify the resources of significant commodities to avoid the risks of the global supply chains crisis. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) is seeking to open new markets to achieve food security for essential commodities amid the global supply chain crisis.

The food supply chain crisis led to an increase in the prices of many food commodities and raw materials, and its impact included the oil markets and logistics services.

A recent study prepared by the Assistant General Secretariat for Economic Affairs of the Council revealed the repercussions of the crisis on the local and global economy, indicating that the Kingdom is a pivotal country with an effective influence on the stability of global economic markets.

The study said the global crisis affected many food, energy, and industrial chains, stressing the need for efforts to achieve food security for basic and other commodities.

It has supported and enabled importers and producers in the private sector to maintain price levels of a strategic stock of commodities with high food risks and other items necessary for achieving food security and comprehensive development in the Kingdom.

The study stated that the Council worked through the private sector to open new markets to import alternative goods in the short- and medium-term and maintain price levels at the purchasing power of citizens for most food and other products.

The Council identified the challenges and risks arising from the crisis in the local market and discussed it with the concerned authorities and business owners.

The CSC prepared several supportive initiatives to avoid the food supply chain crisis.

The Council studied various aspects of the crisis to determine possible advantages of the global situation in attracting international companies to the local Saudi market in partnership with Saudi investors.

Under its plan to serve the private sector and the national economy to avoid the crisis of food supply chains and other commodities, the Council took several essential steps to achieve the national economy's general interest.

It formed specialized teams for essential food commodities to speed up taking urgent decisions and join the crisis management committee of the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO).

The challenges of food supply chains and other commodities include the high costs of raw materials and shipping, the lack of shipping companies working in the maritime field with the Kingdom, the delay of shipments to the local market due to global restrictions and high port, and customs fees.

The Council stressed that the government agencies are exerting efforts to identify the risks and challenges of the crisis and work to resolve the issues facing the private sector.

It also devised support programs for the public sector and established a direct line of communication with the concerned authorities to support the industry in providing food commodities.



World Bank Expects MENA GDP to Rise to 2.7% in 2024 Amid Heightened Uncertainty

MENA’s gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to rise to 2.7% in 2024, which is a tepid increase from 1.9% in 2023.  (Reuters)
MENA’s gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to rise to 2.7% in 2024, which is a tepid increase from 1.9% in 2023. (Reuters)
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World Bank Expects MENA GDP to Rise to 2.7% in 2024 Amid Heightened Uncertainty

MENA’s gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to rise to 2.7% in 2024, which is a tepid increase from 1.9% in 2023.  (Reuters)
MENA’s gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to rise to 2.7% in 2024, which is a tepid increase from 1.9% in 2023. (Reuters)

The World Bank’s new Middle East and North Africa Economic Update, entitled “Conflict and Debt in the Middle East and North Africa”, shows that lackluster growth, rising indebtedness and heightened uncertainty due to the conflict in the Middle East are impacting economies across the region.

According to the report, MENA economies are expected to return to low growth akin to the decade prior to the pandemic. MENA’s gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to rise to 2.7% in 2024, which is a tepid increase from 1.9% in 2023.

As in 2023, oil importing and oil exporting countries are likely to grow at less disparate rates than 2022, when higher oil prices boosted growth in oil exporters.

For Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the 2024 growth uptick reflects expectations of robust non-oil sector activity and fading out of oil production cuts towards the end of the year. GDP growth in almost all oil importing countries is expected to decelerate.

The report looks at the economic impact of the conflict in the Middle East on the region. Economic activity in Gaza has come to a near standstill. The GDP of the Gaza strip dropped by 86% in the last quarter of 2023. The West Bank has plunged into a recession, with simultaneous public and private sector crises. Recent World Bank reports go into further depth on damages to the Gaza Strip and catastrophic impacts on the people of Gaza.

The economic impact of the conflict on the rest of the region has remained relatively contained, but uncertainty has increased. For example, the shipping industry has coped with shocks to maritime transport by rerouting vessels away from the Red Sea, but any prolonged disruptions to routes through the Suez Canal could increase commodity prices regionally and globally.

The report also looks at rising indebtedness in the MENA region. Between 2013 and 2019, the median debt-to-GDP ratio for MENA economies increased by more than 23 percentage points. The pandemic made things worse as declines in revenue, together with pandemic support spending, increased financing needs for many countries.

This rising indebtedness is heavily concentrated in oil-importing economies, which now have a debt-to-GDP ratio 50 percent higher than the global average of emerging markets and developing economies. Approaching 90 percent of GDP in 2023, oil-importing countries in MENA have a debt-to-GDP ratio almost three times higher than that of oil exporting countries in the region.

The report presents evidence that oil-importing countries in MENA have been unable to grow out of debt or inflate their debt away, making fiscal discipline essential to curb indebtedness. Critically, off-budget items which have played a large role in some MENA economies have been to the detriment of debt and fiscal transparency. The challenge for oil exporters is one of economic and fiscal-revenue diversification, given the structural change in global oil markets and the rising demand for renewable sources of energy. Overall, MENA economies need to undertake structural reforms, chief among them transparency, to unlock growth and forge a sustainable path ahead.


Gold Rises After Iran Attacks Israel

Gold bars are displayed at a gold jewelry shop in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh November 4, 2009. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/File Photo
Gold bars are displayed at a gold jewelry shop in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh November 4, 2009. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/File Photo
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Gold Rises After Iran Attacks Israel

Gold bars are displayed at a gold jewelry shop in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh November 4, 2009. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/File Photo
Gold bars are displayed at a gold jewelry shop in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh November 4, 2009. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/File Photo

Gold prices rose on Monday, attracting some safe haven bids, while oil prices were choppy after Iran's retaliatory attack on Israel over the weekend stoked fears of a wider regional conflict and kept traders on edge for what comes next.

US stock futures ticked higher after major indexes ended sharply lower on Friday as results from major US banks failed to impress.

Iran had, late on Saturday, launched explosive drones and missiles at Israel in retaliation for a suspected Israeli attack on its consulate in Syria on April 1, marking its first direct attack on Israeli territory.

The threat of open warfare erupting between the arch Middle East foes and dragging in the United States has left the region on tenterhooks, as US President Joe Biden warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the US will not take part in a counter-offensive against Iran.

Israel said "the campaign is not over yet".

Global markets struggled for direction early in Asia on Monday after the weekend developments in the Middle East, as oil prices edged broadly lower in volatile trade, gold jumped and the dollar held broadly steady.

Gold rose 0.7% to $2,359.92 an ounce, after having scaled a record of $2,431.29 on Friday. The yellow metal has climbed some 14% for the year thus far.

"Everything seems pretty well contained," said Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone. "From a very simplistic perspective, the actions from Iran haven't really surprised anyone, they're very much in line with what we were pricing late last week.

"What may be causing a slight move up in the gold price... is the idea that we could see another counter response from Israel, and if that was to happen... that could cause risk (assets) to move down."


Indian Shares Fall as Middle East Tensions Spook Investors

The new logo of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building is seen in Mumbai, India, July 12, 2023. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo Purchase Licensing Rights
The new logo of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building is seen in Mumbai, India, July 12, 2023. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo Purchase Licensing Rights
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Indian Shares Fall as Middle East Tensions Spook Investors

The new logo of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building is seen in Mumbai, India, July 12, 2023. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo Purchase Licensing Rights
The new logo of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building is seen in Mumbai, India, July 12, 2023. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo Purchase Licensing Rights

Indian shares fell on Monday as investors sold riskier assets after Iran's retaliatory attack on Israel over the weekend spurred fears of a wider regional conflict.

The NSE Nifty 50 (.NSEI), opens new tab was down 0.73% at 22,354.70 as of 10:10 a.m. IST, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN), opens new tab fell 0.75% to 73,687.02.

"Risk sentiment took a hit after Iran's retaliatory attack on Israel over the weekend stoked fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East region and kept traders on edge," analysts at SMC Global Securities said in a note on Monday, Reuters reported.

"The worries in the Middle East have rattled all financial markets, pushing investors to look for safer places for their money."

Forty-one of the Nifty 50 stocks declined. All the 13 major sectors logged losses.

Shares of Indian rice and tea exporters fell amid escalations in Middle East tensions. India is one of the top exporters of basmati rice and tea, and Iran is a leading buyer of those commodities.

Other Asian peers also traded lower, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index (.MIAPJ0000PUS), opens new tab shedding 0.72%.

Among individual stocks, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS.NS), opens new tab, India's top software services firm by revenue, gained 0.8% and was among the top five Nifty 50 gainers.

"While the company reported lower-than-expected revenue in March quarter, we still expect TCS to lead peers on revenue growth in fiscal year 2024, aided by ramp-up of mega deals," analysts at Kotak Institutional Equities said.

Aluminium producer Hindalco Industries (HALC.NS), opens new tab gained 2.5% and was the top Nifty 50 gainer, after the US and UK imposed restrictions on the trading of new Russian commodities on the London Metals Exchange and on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

This (development) should be most positive for aluminium prices and shares of aluminium producers, Jefferies said.

The broader, more domestically-focussed small- (.NIFSMCP100), opens new tab and mid-caps (.NIFMDCP100), opens new tab lost about 3% and 2%, respectively, after outperforming the benchmarks in April, ahead of the session.


Europe Aviation Agency Urges Caution in Israeli, Iranian Airspace 

A view from the southern Gaza strip shows drones or missiles vying for targets in southern Israel, early 14 April 2024. (EPA)
A view from the southern Gaza strip shows drones or missiles vying for targets in southern Israel, early 14 April 2024. (EPA)
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Europe Aviation Agency Urges Caution in Israeli, Iranian Airspace 

A view from the southern Gaza strip shows drones or missiles vying for targets in southern Israel, early 14 April 2024. (EPA)
A view from the southern Gaza strip shows drones or missiles vying for targets in southern Israel, early 14 April 2024. (EPA)

Europe's aviation regulator reaffirmed advice to airlines to use caution in Israeli and Iranian airspace though it said no civil overflights had been placed at risk during weekend tensions surrounding Iranian drone and missile strikes on Israel. 

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it and the European Commission would "continue to closely monitor the situation to assess any potential safety risks for EU aircraft operators and be ready to act as appropriate". 

EASA guidance that is already in place for airlines on Israel and Iran continues to apply, it said in an emailed note. 

That included exercising caution and following all available aeronautical publications for Israel and neighboring airspace up to 100 nautical miles surrounding the country. 

For Iran, it recommended caution and said "there continues to be an increased potential for miscalculation and/or misidentification" in airspace over the Iranian capital Tehran. 

Global airlines face some disruption after Iran's attack on Israel with more than 300 missiles and drones, which were mostly shot down by Israel's US-backed missile defense system or its allies before they reached Israeli airspace. 

The attack was in response to a suspected Israeli airstrike on Iran's Syria consulate on April 1 in which seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders and officers were killed. 

EASA said all affected airspaces - Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Iran - were closed by the relevant authorities during the relevant period. 

"There was no overflight risk for civil aviation at any time," it said. An overflight involves an aircraft transiting through airspace, typically at high cruising altitude. 

All the temporary airspace closures imposed at the weekend expired on Sunday, EASA said. 


Türkiye Central Bank Posts $25 bln Loss for 2023

The central bank effectively revised upwards the Turkish lira share in the banking system,- File photo
The central bank effectively revised upwards the Turkish lira share in the banking system,- File photo
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Türkiye Central Bank Posts $25 bln Loss for 2023

The central bank effectively revised upwards the Turkish lira share in the banking system,- File photo
The central bank effectively revised upwards the Turkish lira share in the banking system,- File photo

Türkiye's central bank posted a 2023 loss of 818.2 billion lira ($25.25 billion), showed its balance sheet published in the Official Gazette on Sunday, on the back of steep loss stemming from the "KKM" foreign exchange-protected deposit scheme.

The government has been working for months to exit KKM, launched in 2021 to stem a historic currency crash. Loss stemming from KKM prompted the central bank to pass on distributing profit to the Treasury in 2023.

The scheme helped reverse a trend of Turks flocking to hard currency and gold to protect savings after years of lira depreciation.

The central bank is now seeking to boost the share of lira deposits in the banking system. It started in August to urge conversion from KKM to standard lira accounts, Reuters reported.

An independent audit report published last year showed the central bank posted profit of 72 billion lira in 2022 and 57.5 billion lira in 2021.

The central bank will convene its general assembly on April 30 in Ankara to discuss 2023 results.


Arab Financial Markets Await Developments After Regional Escalation

Arab financial markets have been experiencing significant ups and downs due to geopolitical tensions and economic factors.  (Reuters)
Arab financial markets have been experiencing significant ups and downs due to geopolitical tensions and economic factors. (Reuters)
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Arab Financial Markets Await Developments After Regional Escalation

Arab financial markets have been experiencing significant ups and downs due to geopolitical tensions and economic factors.  (Reuters)
Arab financial markets have been experiencing significant ups and downs due to geopolitical tensions and economic factors. (Reuters)

Arab financial markets have been experiencing significant ups and downs due to geopolitical tensions and economic factors.

Investors are closely watching developments following the Israeli-Iranian escalation to gauge its impact on investments.

Mohammed Al-Farraj from “Arbah Capital” believes these fluctuations will continue for a while as investors assess how military tensions between Iran and Israel affect the global economy.

“These fluctuations are expected to persist in the coming days. Investors are carefully evaluating the impact of geopolitical factors, such as ongoing military tensions between Iran and Israel, on the global economy,” Al-Farraj told Asharq Al-Awsat.

However, he thinks the instability is temporary and markets will stabilize in the long run.

“With continued rise in interest rates and inflation, the likelihood of temporary market corrections increases, possibly leading to declines in stock prices,” said Al-Farraj.

Moreover, he sees opportunities for investors to buy stocks at lower prices during these fluctuations and benefit from long-term growth.

“These corrections present excellent investment opportunities for investors with long-term vision, allowing them to buy stocks at discounted prices and benefit from their long-term growth,” explained Al-Farraj.

Despite worries, certain sectors like energy, healthcare, technology, education, mining, insurance, and banking offer promising investment prospects.

After the Eid holiday, Arab markets reopened with fluctuations. Most closed lower, except for Muscat and Amman.

In Saudi Arabia, the main stock index, TASI, concluded its first session after the Eid holiday down by 38.52 points, or 0.30%, at 12666.90 points, with a liquidity of 6 billion riyals ($1.6 billion), influenced by declines in the banking and basic materials sectors.

Kuwait and Qatar also saw declines, while Jordan’s market closed higher. Muscat’s market ended slightly up.

Overall, market movements reflected the uncertainties surrounding the regional tensions.


Oil Prices Fall After Iran Attack as Market Draws Down Risk Premium 

A complex of pipes used for the export of crude oil in a dock that is part of the Ecopetrol refinery, is seen in Cartagena, Colombia April 12, 2024. (Reuters)
A complex of pipes used for the export of crude oil in a dock that is part of the Ecopetrol refinery, is seen in Cartagena, Colombia April 12, 2024. (Reuters)
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Oil Prices Fall After Iran Attack as Market Draws Down Risk Premium 

A complex of pipes used for the export of crude oil in a dock that is part of the Ecopetrol refinery, is seen in Cartagena, Colombia April 12, 2024. (Reuters)
A complex of pipes used for the export of crude oil in a dock that is part of the Ecopetrol refinery, is seen in Cartagena, Colombia April 12, 2024. (Reuters)

Oil prices fell at Asia's open on Monday, as market participants dialed back risk premiums following Iran's attack on Israel late on Saturday which the Israeli government said caused limited damage.

Brent futures for June delivery fell 24 cents to $90.21 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures for May delivery were down 38 cents at $85.28 a barrel by 1256 GMT.

The attack involving more than 300 missiles and drones was the first on Israel from another country in more than three decades. It had raised concerns about a broader regional conflict affecting oil traffic through the Middle East.

But the attack, which Iran called retaliation for an air strike on its Damascus consulate, caused only modest damage, with missiles shot down by Israel's Iron Dome defense system. Israel, which is at war with Iran-backed Hamas fighters in Gaza, has neither confirmed nor denied it struck the consulate.

While Israeli officials said the country's war cabinet was in favor of retaliation, the US said it would not take part in any offensive against Iran. Global powers, other Arab nations and the UN secretary general have issued calls for restraint.

"The Iranian retaliatory missile and drone attack on Israel yesterday morning appears sufficient in size to revenge the killing of Iranian military personnel in Syria without being damaging enough to trigger a further escalation in hostilities at this point," IG market analyst Tony Sycamore said in a client note.

Oil benchmarks had risen on Friday in anticipation of a retaliatory attack by Iran, touching their highest levels since October.

But prices still ended the week down about 1% after the International Energy Agency lowered its forecast for oil demand growth this year.

Despite the limited damage sustained by Israel, analysts were widely expecting at least a short-lived rally in prices this morning.

The attack marks an "unprecedented and dangerous development in an already volatile region," said Rystad Energy Senior Vice President Jorge Leon.

Analysts said more significant and longer-lasting price effects from the escalation would require a material disruption to supply, such as constraints on shipping in the Strait of Hormuz near Iran.

So far, the Israel-Hamas conflict has had little tangible impact on oil supply.

A "less certain path to Fed rate cuts" because of persistent US inflation also weighed on prices, Sycamore said. "However, in the medium term, ongoing geopolitical instability in the Middle East and Europe means that all the risks remain to the topside in crude oil towards $90."


Saudi Finance Minister Heads Kingdom's Delegation ‏to IMF-WBG 2024 Spring Meetings ‏

 Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan gestures as he speaks during the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri
Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan gestures as he speaks during the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri
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Saudi Finance Minister Heads Kingdom's Delegation ‏to IMF-WBG 2024 Spring Meetings ‏

 Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan gestures as he speaks during the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri
Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan gestures as he speaks during the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan will lead the Kingdom's delegation at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group 2024 Spring Meetings in Washington from April 15 to 20.

The Saudi delegation will also include Central Bank Governor Ayman Alsayari, Saudi Fund for Development CEO Sultan Almarshad, Assistant Finance Minister Abdulmuhsen Alkhalaf, International Monetary and Financial Committee Deputy Chair Ryadh Alkhareif, Deputy Finance Minister Khalid Bawazier, and experts from the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Economy and Planning, the Saudi Fund for Development, and the Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority.

Al-Jadaan will chair the first meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee since the Kingdom's three-year chairmanship announcement. The committee will discuss global economic developments, growth prospects, and risks, along with global economic policy priorities.

Al-Jadaan and Alsayari will also participate in the 2nd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting under the Brazilian Presidency, focusing on global economic issues and enhancing cooperation.

Additionally, Al-Jadaan will attend a meeting of the World Bank Group's Development Committee, discussing strategies for addressing global development challenges.

The spring meetings bring together finance ministers, central bankers, international organizations, private sector executives, civil society representatives, and academics to discuss global concerns, such as the economy, sustainable development, poverty eradication, and other economic and financial topics. ‏


Gas Is Stronger Than Politics between Algeria, Spain

The Algerian president receives the Spanish Foreign Minister on September 30, 2021. (Algerian News Agency)
The Algerian president receives the Spanish Foreign Minister on September 30, 2021. (Algerian News Agency)
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Gas Is Stronger Than Politics between Algeria, Spain

The Algerian president receives the Spanish Foreign Minister on September 30, 2021. (Algerian News Agency)
The Algerian president receives the Spanish Foreign Minister on September 30, 2021. (Algerian News Agency)

Algerian gas topped Spain’s gas imports during the first quarter of 2024 despite a trade rift between Algiers and Madrid over the Sahara conflict.

According to a report on gas imports published by El Espanol newspaper, Algerian gas accounted for 42 percent of Spain’s gas imports during the past three months, while imports from Russia reached 25.7 percent, and 18.2 percent from the US, during the same period.

The newspaper relied on data published by Enagas, the leading Spanish company in the field of transporting natural gas from abroad, and the technical supervisor of energy systems in Spain.

The company explained that the rise in the quantities of gas imported from Algeria was the result of the increase in the pumping through the Medgas pipeline, which connects the city of Beni Saf, in western Algeria, to the city of Almeria in southern Spain.

According to a report by the company, the flow of Algerian gas to Spain via Medgas, between January and March, increased by 15.4 percent compared to the same period in 2023, when the quantity reached 25.8 terawatts.

Algeria topped the countries supplying energy to Spain throughout 2023, with coverage reaching 29.2 percent of the country’s needs, ahead of the United States, which came in second.

Algeria had frozen foreign trade operations of products and services with Spain from June 2022 following an announcement by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez that his country was siding with the Moroccan autonomy plan for Western Sahara.

Algeria strongly supports Polisario’s efforts to establish a Sahrawi state, causing a yearslong rift between Algiers and Rabat.

However, Algiers excluded gas from the decision to stop trade with Spain, as the two countries are bound by long-term energy contracts and any violation of these agreements would have resulted in the case being referred to international arbitration.


Georgieva Faces Five Challenges in Second IMF Term

FILE PHOTO: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks during an interview during a G20 Financial Summit, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 27, 2024. REUTERS/Carla Carniel/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks during an interview during a G20 Financial Summit, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 27, 2024. REUTERS/Carla Carniel/File Photo
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Georgieva Faces Five Challenges in Second IMF Term

FILE PHOTO: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks during an interview during a G20 Financial Summit, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 27, 2024. REUTERS/Carla Carniel/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks during an interview during a G20 Financial Summit, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 27, 2024. REUTERS/Carla Carniel/File Photo

European countries have thrown their support behind Kristalina Georgieva, the current head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for another five-year term starting Oct. 1.
This endorsement comes just before the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, where global financial leaders gather between April 15th and 20th. Georgieva's reappointment was unanimously agreed upon by the IMF's Executive Board.
Georgieva has been leading the IMF since 2019, after temporarily heading the World Bank in 2017. Before that, she represented Bulgaria in the European Union for six years.
In 2021, there were accusations of data tampering during her time at the World Bank, but she was cleared by the IMF.
Over the past five years, global crises like coronavirus pandemic and geopolitical tensions have created economic uncertainty, especially for low-income countries.
Georgieva faces uncertainties in her new term, including:
Growth Outlook: Global growth remains modest despite recent improvements, with concerns about inflation and rising debts.
Price Stability: Central banks need to decide when to lower interest rates to stabilize prices.
Debt Levels: Governments' efforts to tackle the pandemic have led to significant debt increases, posing challenges.
Geopolitical Tensions: Political conflicts add to the risks of global economic instability.
China's Situation: China's struggles with its economy, including a real estate crisis and weak global demand, impact global growth.
Georgieva emphasizes the IMF’s dual mission: to provide financial support to those in need, especially low- and middle-income countries, and to unite members to address global challenges for the sake of future generations.