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Saudi ruler offers $36bn to stave off uprising amid warning oil price could double

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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
London Telegraph
Feb 24, 2011

The king of Saudi Arabia last night announced $36bn (£22bn) of extra benefits for his people in an attempt to stop the wave of Arab uprisings spreading to the world’s biggest oil exporter, as experts warned Brent crude could hit $220 a barrel.

King Abdullah’s support package offers to give 18m lower and middle-income Saudi’s inflation-busting pay rises, unemployment benefits and affordable housing.

The cash-rich Saudi government pledged to spend a total of $400bn by the end of 2014 to improve education, health care and the kingdom’s infrastructure.

Charles Robertson, an analyst at Renaissance Capital, said investors are very concerned about what might happen in Saudi Arabia’s oil rich Eastern Province, the home of the kingdom’s restless Shi’ite minority. The Saudis produce 11.6pc of world output, but a much higher share of exports.

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This article was posted: Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 5:07 am





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