October 6, 2017 / 8:32 PM / 10 months ago

BRIEF-S&P affirms ratings on Saudi Arabia at 'A-/A-2', maintains stable outlook

Oct 6 (Reuters) - S&P Global Ratings:

* S&P says ratings on Saudi Arabia affirmed at ‘a-/a-2’; outlook stable

* S&P says expects Saudi Arabia’s external and government balance sheet positions will remain strong over 2017-2020

* S&P says stable outlook based on expectation that Saudi authorities will take steps to consolidate public finances over next two years

* S&P says Saudi Arabia ratings are driven by “strong” external and fiscal stock positions

* S&P says expects Saudi Arabia’s real economic growth to be broadly flat in 2017

* S&P says expects Saudi Arabia will maintain “strong” external and fiscal stock positions despite large central government deficits

* S&P says impact of Arab states’ boycott of Qatar may not be confined to within Qatar’s borders and is likely worsening Saudi Arabia’s trade balance

* S&P says expects Saudi Arabia’s real economic growth to only pick up slowly after 2017 as oil production cuts, fiscal consolidation dampen domestic demand

* S&P says Saudi Arabia government’s strategy faces challenge to rebalance economy away from historical reliance on fossil fuels and expatriate labor

* S&P says expects the oil sector’s contribution to Saudi Arabia’s real economic growth in 2017 and 2018 to be largely flat

* S&P on Saudi Arabia says expects political tensions within Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to persist over next few years‍​ Source text: (bit.ly/2ku50k7)

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