Fitch affirms Saudi Arabia's rating at A, revises outlook to 'positive'
Fitch Ratings revised on Thursday the outlook for Saudi Arabia’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) from “stable” to “positive”, while affirming the rating at "A".
The Kingdom's rating reflects improvements in the sovereign balance sheet due to higher oil revenues and commitment to fiscal consolidation.
The global ratings agency expects the Saudi government’s debt-to-GDP ratio to remain below 30% until 2025.
The government is estimated to maintain significant fiscal buffers, including deposits in the central bank that exceed 10% of GDP.
Fitch Ratings said that spending control is forecasted to continue despite higher oil prices, given uncertainty over long-term oil prices, in addition to the government's commitment to make the budget flexible against low oil prices in line with the fiscal sustainability program, and higher spending by the public sector to support economic growth and job creation.
Saudi Arabia is projected to register a budget surplus in 2022-2023 for the first time since 2013, equal to 6.7% and 3.5% of GDP, respectively.
In March, rating agency S&P affirmed Saudi Arabia’s rating at "A-” but revised its outlook to "positive" from "stable", citing improving GDP growth and fiscal dynamics over the medium term.