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Saudis Risk Draining Financial Assets in Five Years, IMF Says

Saudi Arabia may run out of financial assets needed to support spending within five years amid the drop in oil prices if the government maintains current policies, the International Monetary Fund said, underscoring the need of measures to cut the nation’s budget deficit.

The same is true of Bahrain and Oman in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, the IMF said in a report on Wednesday. Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have relatively more financial assets that could support them for more than 20 years, the Washington-based lender said.

Saudi authorities are already planning spending cuts as the world’s biggest oil exporter seeks to shore up its public finances. Officials have repeatedly said that the kingdom’s economy, the Arab world’s biggest, is strong enough to weather the plunge in crude prices.

But the IMF said measures being considered by oil exporters “are likely to...