Saudi Arabia sees 'very limited' impact from Euro crisis

Finance Minister says kingdom has 'appropriate means' to guard against financial woes
Saudi Arabia sees 'very limited' impact from Euro crisis
By Reuters
Sat 05 Nov 2011 11:58 AM

The impact of Europe's economic woes on Saudi Arabia will be "very limited" because the kingdom has the "appropriate means" to guard against any financial shockwave, the country's Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf said.

Leaders of the world's major economies met in the French Riviera on Thursday to try to overcome a European sovereign debt crisis that threatens to drag the global economy into recession.

"If there is a big decline in the economic conditions of Europe... it will affect all nations including the kingdom to some degree, but I stress that the impact would be very limited because we have the appropriate means to limit the negative effect on the kingdom's economy," Alassaf told state news agency SPA in Cannes.

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter with more than $400 billion in assets.

"Now we are facing a new challenge, Europe, and the heaviest burden is on European nations, but the international community stands side by side with Europe and it prepared to support it via the IMF," Alassaf said.

Last month, Alassaf told Reuters he was surprised by a proposal from some emerging countries in the Group of 20 nations to boost the resources of the International Monetary Fund.

Some emerging economies, fearing the euro zone crisis could destabilise them, have suggested giving the IMF more firepower to cope with threats to the global financial system, but a decision on whether to boost the fund was deferred until next year at the G20 summit on Friday.

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