Oil dominates Saudi GDP despite efforts to diversify

Oil refineryInternational investors who take advantage of Saudi Arabia opening its stock exchange to qualified foreign investment next year will find they are heavily exposed to oil.

Hydrocarbon revenues still account for more than 90% of the largest Gulf state’s GDP despite efforts to diversify the economy.

The proportion is far higher than in nearby Qatar or UAE, where hydrocarbon revenues account for about 60% of GDP. Both countries were promoted to emerging-market status by index compiler MSCI earlier this year.

The figures, which come from a report by Saudi asset manager Alkhabeer Capital, underline how the Gulf states are susceptible to movements in energy prices.

In the past five years, the Gulf economies grew by about 24% – outpacing the rest of the globe – due largely to high oil prices.

Kuwait is the most exposed to energy prices, according to the Alkhabeer Capital report, with hydrocarbon revenues accounting for 93% of GDP.

©2014 funds global mena

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