“Public revenue is budgeted to be $222 billion, 62 percent of which is attributed to the oil revenue and 38 percent to the non-oil revenue. The budgeted expenditure for 2020 is $272 billion, out of which about 50 percent is allocated to employee compensation. At 19 percent, education has the largest allocation in terms of sectors, followed by military, with an allocation of 18 percent.”

Global Accounting Firm KPMG, in its newly-published KSA 2020 Budget Report



A Look at Saudi Arabia’s 2020 Budget

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with King Salman in Riyadh.

This week, Saudi Arabia unveiled its 2020 budget, which signals an end to the expansionary trend of recent years, assumes lower oil prices than in 2019, and continues to invest in the economic diversification as outlined in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic and social reform plans. [more]



Saudi Aramco hits $2 trillion market cap on second day of trading

Via Natasha Turak in cnbc.com : Share rose 10% to 38.7 riyals apiece ($10.32) but slipped back to 37 riyals within minutes of the market open.

Saudi Arabia May Tap Debt Market in January to Cover Deficit

Via Vivian Nereim and Sarah Algethami in bloomberg.com : Most of the debt will be local and about 45% will be raised overseas through sukuk and conventional bonds, Fahad Al-Saif, head of the Finance Ministry’s debt management office, said in an interview on Wednesday. The country will also refinance roughly 44 billion riyals ($11.7 billion) of existing local debt, he said.

Saudi university launches Kingdom’s first self-driving buses

Via Aseel Bashraheel in arabnews.com : Two driverless shuttles, nicknamed Olli and EZ10, will undergo trials on the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) campus with a view to starting regular commuter services for students and staff early next year.



Saudi Aramco IPO

Interview at Davos: Aramco International Listing ‘Still on the Cards,’ Saudi Arabia Finance Minister Says

Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan discusses the recent $5 billion debt issuance, the state of the Saudi economy, and the prospect of an international...[via bloomberg.com]



More efforts needed to bridge gender, generation gaps in labor market: Saudi conference

The two-day T20 Inception Conference brought together experts from all over the world to discuss a range of essential issues covering climate, energy, migration, youth,...[By Rashid Hassan via arabnews.com]


Saudi Bonds

Saudi Arabia Issues $5 Billion of Bonds as Gulf Tensions Ease

The kingdom issued $5 billion of debt, taking advantage of low borrowing costs globally. It’s seeking to plug part of its growing budget deficit by...[By Archana Narayanan and Matthew Martin via bloomberg.com]


Saudi Youth Development Survey of 2019

Youth make up over two-thirds of Saudi Arabia: Survey

Youth, categorized as individuals aged 0-34 years, make up 67.02 percent of the total population of Saudi Arabia, according to a report released by the...[By Matthew Amlôt via alarabiya.net]


Pensacola Shooting

At Florida base, a mix of relief, anxiety in Saudi shooting aftermath

With an FBI investigation underway, Navy security officer David Link still is not allowed to talk about what he saw when a Saudi gunman killed...[By Phil Stewart via reuters.com]



Saudi Arabia to Screen Travelers From China After Virus Outbreak

Saudi Arabia will start screening passengers arriving from China and take other preventive measures following the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China, the kingdom's...[via nytimes.com]


Women in the Workforce

First military section for women introduced in Saudi Arabia

Under the initiative to incorporate more women into the field, previously announced in October 2019, women can now join the military as lance corporals, corporals,...[via thenews.com]


Study Abroad

From the field: The new student recruitment landscape in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government began to wind down the KASP scholarship programme in 2016, and Saudi numbers in all major receiving countries began to drop off...[via icef.com]


Russia in the Region

Esper ‘Concerned’ About Russian Influence in Egypt, Saudi Arabia

Russia’s presence in Syria has grown since U.S. troops withdrew from the latter’s northeastern border region, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told lawmakers on Wednesday, but...[By Katie Bo Williams via defenseone.com]



Turkey and Russia Judged Bigger Risk Than ISIS for U.S. Troops in Syria

The Trump administration’s rapidly shifting strategy in northern Syria has American commanders there scrambling to protect their forces from an expected surge in actions by...[By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Eric Schmitt via nytimes.com]



Police and protesters clash as Algeria holds disputed election

Demonstrators faced off with riot police in Algiers, the capital, and some other major cities in the north African country. Dozens of arrests were reported...[By Jason Burke via theguardian.com]



New rocket attack targets Iraq base housing US troops

No casualties in overnight attack, the 10th since late October and days after another assault wounded six members of Iraq’s elite US-trained counterterrorism force in...[via timesofisrael.com via AFP]



Lebanon Asks IMF for Technical Assistance on Rescue Plan

Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he discussed with the heads of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank a possible plan to rescue...[By Dana Khraiche via bloomberg.com]



How U.S. efforts to rebuild Afghanistan backfired

Since 2001, Washington has spent more on nation-building in Afghanistan than in any country ever, allocating $133 billion for reconstruction, aid programs and the Afghan security...[By Craig Whitlock via washingtonpost.com]


SALT Conference

Saudi Arabia, UAE ‘promoting US engagement’ in the Middle East

Roule was one of three speakers in the discussion on the “Future of US-Arab relations”, moderated by Editor-in-chief of Arab News Faisal J. Abbas. The...[By Caline Malek via arabnews.com]



Inside the UAE’s lobbying efforts to lift European weapons-export bans

Emirati officials have in the discussions with European counterparts stressed the Gulf state’s need to defend itself while highlighting the UAE’s drawdown of troops in...[By Sylvia Westall via reuters.com]



State Department Reprimanded Pakistan in August for Misusing F-16s, Document Shows

Addressed to the head of the Pakistani air force, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, the letter began by relaying the State Department's confirmation that...[By Paul Shinkman via usnews.com]



Turkey sends Libya maritime accord to U.N. for approval: source

Turkey on Thursday sent its accord with Libya on a maritime boundary between the two countries to the United Nations for approval, a Turkish diplomatic...[By Tuvan Gumrukcu via reuters.com]


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