March 9, 2020 / 12:17 PM / a month ago

Oil price collapse will hurt Gulf states' finances - Fitch

LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - The collapse in oil prices will put pressure on government finances in the Gulf, credit rating agency Fitch said on Monday.

Fitch’s top Middle East and Africa sovereign analyst Jan Friedrich said a $10 drop in crude prices lowered fiscal revenues in the Gulf by 2-4% of GDP, depending on the country.

“The collapse in oil prices will clearly be seen in fiscal numbers for the Gulf,” Friedrich said.

Fiscal breakeven prices - the oil price needed to balance a country’s budget - for all Gulf sovereigns are well above the $35-a-barrel that Brent ploughed down to on Monday.

“It’s above $80 per barrel for Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia. However, at least the higher-rated sovereigns, particularly Kuwait, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, have ample buffers, mainly in the form of sovereign wealth funds,” Friedrich added. (Reporting by Marc Jones, editing by Karin Strohecker)

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