ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia will not need to tap into its reserves this year to finance additional budget spending but it is considering whether to issue Islamic or conventional bonds to help fund specific projects, the country’s Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf told Reuters.
Responding to a wave of social unrest across the region, the world’s top oil exporter pledged early this year to spend an estimated $130 billion (81 billion pound), or nearly 30 percent of its economic output, on housing and other social measures for its citizens over an unspecified period.
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Saudi King Abdullah has had a successful back operation in Riyadh on Monday, the royal court of the world’s top oil exporter said in a statement.
The monarch is in his late 80s and has introduced cautious reforms since becoming king in 2005. He went into the King Abdulaziz Medical City in the capital Riyadh late on Sunday for an operation to tighten the ligaments around his third vertebra.
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia/DUBAI, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Saudi
Arabia’s annual inflation rose to an eight-month high of 5.3
percent in September, boosted by price rises of miscellaneous
products and services, while monthly price growth almost
doubled, data showed on Sunday .
Inflation in the biggest Arab economy and world’s
top oil exporter had hovered below 5 percent for most of 2011.
It was 4.8 percent on an annual basis and 0.5 percent
month-on-month in August.
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Five major Saudi
banks posted third-quarter net profits, three of which beat
analysts forecasts, citing lower operational costs as well as
increased income from banking fees and investments, the lenders
said on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia’s biggest Islamic Bank, Al Rajhi Bank
posted an 18-percent rise in its third-quarter net profit to 1.9
billion riyals ($506 million) from 1.6 billion, attributing the
rise in profit to higher revenue from banking fees and
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Saudi King Abdullah, who underwent surgery last year for back-related problems, will undergo an operation in the coming days, Saudi Arabia’s state news agency reported on Tuesday.
The health of the ruler of the world’s leading oil exporter is of keen interest, given his age — thought to be 88 — and uncertainty over how power would be transferred within Saudi Arabia’s ruling royal family. The family governs Saudi Arabia in consultation with conservative clerics adhering to the austere Wahhabi school of Islam.
One of Saudi Arabia’s most senior clerics said he was not consulted about King Abdullah’s decision to grant women more political rights, one of the first signs of discontent from powerful conservatives since the reform was announced. In a speech last week the Saudi monarch announced that women would vote and run in future municipal council elections and serve in the appointed Shura Council which advises the king on policy. King Abdullah said his decision was made after consultation with the country’s most senior clerics, who have extensive political and social influence.
“I wish the king did not say that he consulted senior clerics… When I heard the speech and what was said about consultation, without a doubt I had no knowledge of it before hearing the king’s speech,” Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan, a member of the senior clerics council, said on the al-Majd television channel on Friday. A recording of the broadcast was available on YouTube.
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – One of Saudi Arabia’s most senior clerics said he was not consulted about King Abdullah’s decision to grant women more political rights, one of the first signs of discontent from powerful conservatives since the reform was announced.
In a speech last week the Saudi monarch announced that women would vote and run in future municipal council elections and serve in the appointed Shura Council which advises the king on policy.
JEDDAH/DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian men voted in only the second nationwide election in the country’s history on Thursday, but nearly empty polling booths in the second city, Jeddah, showed few were enthusiastic about voting for municipal councils with little power.
In a year when demands for democracy rocked other major Arab nations, only 1.08 million Saudi men even registered to vote in elections to choose just half the members of municipal councils.
JEDDAH/DUBAI (Reuters) – The right to vote in elections in a country that remains an absolute monarchy, where they still may not work nor travel without assent from a male relative nor drive a car, may seem a small step for the women of Saudi Arabia.
Yet King Abdullah’s unexpected move was a momentous turn in the culture wars that have marked his reign. It may presage more change, not only for women but in the relationship between royal house and clergy upon which the state was founded, and among rivals within a ruling family that faces mounting demands from subjects who see other Arabs pushing closer to democracy.
JEDDAH, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia will allow women to
stand for election and vote, the king announced on Sunday, in a
significant policy shift in the conservative Islamic kingdowm.
In a five-minute speech, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud
said women will also take part in the next session of the
unelected, advisory Shura Council, which vets legislation but
has no binding powers.